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Philadelphia Union signs Jakob Glesnes to new contract



Photo by Jack Verdeur

The Philadelphia Union’s ‘Rocket Man’ is staying put in Chester, as the club announced that it has signed the defender to a new contract on Tuesday.

Glesnes, 28, is now under contract through 2025, with an option for 2026. Financials for the deal were not released by the club.

“Since arriving in MLS, Jakob has been a critical piece of our backline’s strong defensive record and was recognized individually as the 2022 MLS Defender of the Year,” said Sporting Director Ernst Tanner in a statement. “Jakob has proven not only his sporting value but also as a leader on and off the field. We’re happy to have reached an agreement to extend his stay in Philadelphia.”

Glesnes first came to Philadelphia prior to the 2020 season, when he competed with fellow center backs Jack Elliott and Mark McKenzie for minutes. After McKenzie was sold to K.R.C. Genk, Glesnes and Elliott asserted themselves as one of the best center-back duos in Major League Soccer.

Since he was signed, Glesnes has played in 97 MLS matches for the Union and registered over 8,500 minutes. In the 2022 season, he was named an MLS All-Star and became the first Union player to win MLS Defender of the Year. He was a key part of the backline that allowed just 26 goals in the regular season, the fewest in MLS history.

Glesnes also became known across MLS, and global soccer, for his powerful kicks from distance. While he first displayed his skill against LAFC in 2020, his most notable came against Atlanta United in 2021, when a shot from deep bounced off Brad Guzan’s crossbar three times before coming to a rest.

Prior to signing with the Union, Glesnes played in the top flight of Norwegian soccer at Stromsgodset Toppfotball. He also played at Asane and Sarpsborg 08.

Joe is a junior at Penn State studying journalism and sports studies, among other things. He's covered the Union since 2017 and has written for Brotherly Game / Philadelphia Soccer Now since 2019. He seeks to answer life's greatest questions, such as, "How did I get here?" and "Where is that large automobile?" You can find Joe on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email (

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