The Union has a gem of a player in Jakob Glesnes. The centerback has been a rock for the team for the two seasons he’s been in Philly. Pretty much since he has arrived in Philadelphia he has been contributing with his lockdown defense and his long-range bangers! On this Thanksgiving Day, it’s only right to take a look at what it’s like to have a player like Glesnes, and how his importance to this team cannot be understated.
Glasses’ Importance for Union cannot be understated
Glesnes has been a mainstay in the Union’s starting XI for the past two years, and in those years the Union has had their best two seasons in club history. It’s no coincidence that Glesnes’ inclusion has helped propel the Union to the heights they have hit over the past two seasons. Glesnes is one of, if not the most important player to the way the Union plays. To see and understand why Union fans should give thanks for a player like Glesnes we need to look back to why he was acquired, the impact he’s made, and a staple that holds this team together.
A look back when Glesnes was acquired
Back before the 2020 season, the Union was coming off of their first playoff win in franchise history and had two very good starting centerbacks in Mark McKenzie and Jack Elliot. So why did Ernst Tanner, Chris Albright, and Jim Curtin want to bring in a Norweigen Viking of a centerback?
The only thing Philly didn’t have was the starting-caliber depth at the centerback position, with Glesnes the Union got that. What they didn’t expect was to get someone who would push into a starting role. Glesnes began the 2020 season with the starting XI almost as a surprise, and he didn’t look back, making an amazing first impression.
A bang of a first impression, and a second, and a third
Glesnes really made his mark in his second-ever start when the Union played LAFC in the last MLS game before the initial Covid-19 break. The centerback stepped up and hit a freekick for the Union’s second goal of the game. It was a banger that was heard around the world. It was at that moment that Union fans knew they had a new special player.
We’ve now seen him score another banger in Atlanta this year. The hit that bounced off of the crossbar three times, such a thing of beauty to secure a point. Now, Glesnes is scoring 120+ minute playoff goals to help the Union move on to host a conference semifinal. His ability to score a banger is something that cannot be understated, but his real value has come on the defensive end.
A staple keeping this team together
Shocking that Glesens’ best quality is as a defender when he’s a centerback, I know. Glesnes has helped the Union with his strength and ability to command the backline. Whether he was next to Mark McKenzie or Jack Elliot, Glesnes has been THE guy on the Union backline.
You might not think of Jakob as one of, if not the most important player, on this Union team but he’s proving to be that. Glesnes has played 61 matches over his first two seasons with the Union. He played every minute of the 2021 season. His addition could be the sole reason that the Union won a Supporters shield in 2020 and are on the verge of a playoff run in 2021. He sured up a backline that was oftentimes leaky before Glesnes came in. A lot of the strength of this current Union team is centered around Glesnes.
We all need to be thankful for Jakob Glesnes. The commanding presence that holds the backline down and scores bangers at will. There are so many other players to be thankful for as well on this Union squad, but Jakob is oftentimes a second thought when fans think of players that make this team what it is. On Thanksgiving be thankful for this important player who is helping this Union team go from good to great!
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union via Twitter