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Jakob Glesnes named MLS Defender of the Year

Glesnes beat out teammate Kai Wagner to become the first Union player to receive the honor

Jack Verdeur

Philadelphia Union defender Jakob Glesnes had to beat out center back partner Jack Elliott for the nomination and left back Kai Wagner in the final round, which he did in being named the 2022 MLS Defender of the Year.

The 28-year-old Norwegian received a total 26.1% of the vote, beating out Wagner (14.57%) and NYCFC center back Alexander Callens (13.2%). The award is the first for a Philadelphia Union player and the first for a European player since Laurent Cimant collected the award in 2015.

Glesnes and Elliott — who was only not a finalist because the Union were limited to two — anchored a back line that set a new league record for fewest goals allowed in a 34-game season (26).

Goalkeeper Andre Blake was announced Wednesday as the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year for the third time.

The award was voted on by a MLS club technical staff, media and active MLS players.