The Philadelphia Union is continuing to set records in 2022! For the first time ever Philadelphia will have three Allstars in the 2022 MLS All-star game. Andre Blake, Kai Wagner, and Jakob Glesnes are the three that will represent Philadelphia Union for MLS as they take on the All-stars of Mexico’s Liga MX.
The Three Union All-stars
In Minnesota, the MLS Allstars take on Liga MX Allstars! Three of Philadelphia’s stout, and possibly record-breaking defense will feature in the match. Goalkeeper Andre Blake and defenders Kai Wagner and Jakob Glesnes will be tasked with shutting down the best attackers Liga MX has to offer! Let’s take a look at the Union’s three Allstars, how they got to this point, and what factor they could play in this exhibition match.
Blake gets his Fourth All-star selection
Andre Blake makes his fourth All-Star appearance for Philadelphia. The nine-year MLS veteran made the All-Star game in 2016, 2019, 2021, and 2022. The 2020 Goalkeeper of the Year would likely have a fifth appearance, but there was no All-Star game that season. Blake is second in the league in clean sheets with 10, two behind fellow All-Star Sean Johnson.
Andre Blake is the vocal leader of a Philly team to have the fewest goals scored against with just 18 conceded in 24 games played. Will Blake start the match in 2022, or will he be brought in later in the match?
Wagner makes 2nd-straight All-star game
Left-back Kai Wagner is making back-to-back MLS All-Star appearances. He has been the best left-back in MLS the past few years, as his defensive awareness and attacking prowess (being third in assists notching 11 so far this season) make him a threat on the left wing. Wagner is just the second player in Union history to be a two-time All-Star.
In Kai’s four seasons with the Union, he has started all but two of 96 regular season matches. In those four years, Wagner has tallied four goals and 25 assists. Wagner should get the start at left-back in this match as he is the best MLS has to offer at left-back.
Glesnes gets the nod after Callens injury
After an injury, NYCFC’s centerback Alexander Callens meant a call-up for Philly’s center-back Jakob Glesnes. Glesnes is named to his first career MLS All-Star Game in his third MLS season. While it may be hard to differentiate Glesnes from center-back counterpart Elliot, the Norwegian has started all 24 matches for a Philadelphia squad.
Glesnes’ role in a historic defense has allowed only 0.75 goals allowed per game; that goals allowed per game average is on pace to finish just behind the 2010 Real Salt Lake team that had an average of 0.67 goals conceded per game. Will this center-back who can hit a banger of a freekick be able to showcase this skill from the start or as a sub in this match?
MLS All-stars vs Liga MX All-stars – Wednesday, August 10 @ 8:30 pm ET
The Union Trio that takes on the Liga MX All-stars on Wednesday night has played 2,160 minutes in 2022 thus far for the Union! For those keeping track, that means they have started every match this year. Their dominance and consistency in the league have helped them get to this accolade of being an All-Star.
It is a great honor that three of the five players that has been a part of a great defense will be able to represent the top American league against the top players from the Mexican league. All eyes will be on the match; hopefully, the Union’s three defensive stars are able to show out on a big stage!
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union, Andrew Zwarych