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Brotherly Game Daily Links: Union open playoff campaign against Cincinnati

Blake named Goalkeeper of the Year, Glesnes named Defender of the Year and more in today’s links

MLS: Philadelphia Union at FC Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Union News

Andre Blake claims third MLS Goalkeeper Of The Year Award
One of two Union players to play every single minute of their 2022 MLS regular season, Blake is the league leader in shutouts with 15. The Jamaican international saved 79.4 percent of the shots he faced in 2022, which is the most among goalkeepers who have appeared in at least three games. With Blake in the net, the Union achieved the fewest goals ever conceded (26) by any MLS team during a 34-game season.

Jakob Glesnes named MLS Defender Of The Year
Glesnes made Philadelphia Union history in 2022, when he became the club’s first player in consecutive years to start all 34 matches and play all 3,060 regulation minutes of the regular season. A stalwart on the backline, Glesnes was the Union’s only field player to achieve the feat this season, and he was instrumental to their unbeaten home record (12-0-5) this campaign.

Preview | Union kick off postseason against FC Cincinnati
The big moments in this contest will happen in the center of the pitch, as Vazequez and Brenner seek 1v1 matchups against Philly’s center backs around the box. But the source of those matchups will come from the wings, where Cincy will aim to create space for their fullbacks to advance the ball and find Acosta, who either playmakes or drags midfielders out of shape.

Underdogs no more: Philadelphia Union’s “best team” is an MLS Cup favorite
Heading into the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, the Union seemingly have it all. They led the league in goals scored (72). They also had the fewest goals conceded (26). The attacking trio is clicking, with three players who could be match-winners on any given day. There’s maybe the best coach in the league. A raucous crowd and home-field advantage, too.

MLS News

FC Cincinnati boss Pat Noonan reveals ‘constant’ contact with Jim Curtin
“Again, our relationship is strong,” Noonan said. “I know they had the bye, but when they win, we’re typically congratulating each other. And he did, he reached out. So, you know, I think we’re both looking forward to our groups matching up against each other again.”