Jakob Glesnes played every minute of every game for Philadelphia. (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)
Sorry, Alex Callens. You will just have to wait until next year.
The New York City FC center back finished third in the voting for Major League Soccer defender of the year, the league announced on Wednesday. Callens enjoyed an outstanding regular season on both sides of the ball, leading the backline and scoring five goals and adding one assist.
Philadelphia Union center back Jakob Glesnes won the accolade as he became the first Union player ever to receive the honor and the first European to win the award since Belgian defender Laurent Ciman in 2015.
Union linemate Kai Wagner was the runner-up in the voting of players, club and media.
Glesnes made 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. He was Philadelphia’s only field player to achieve the feat this season. He also was instrumental in Philly’s unbeaten home record (12-0-5) this campaign.
A vital piece to the Union’s league-best defense in 2022, Glesnes led the team in interceptions (57) as the team finished with the fewest goals allowed (26) during a 34-match season in MLS history. The Union was the only squad to concede less than 10 goals at home in 2022 (nine) as the Norwegian ranked second among all players in blocks at home with 17.
Glesnes provided an MLS career-high three assists this season, including an opening day assist against Minnesota United FC on Feb. 26 and a game-winning assist against Orlando City SC on July 23. He also committed 15 less fouls compared to 2021, dropping from 33 to 18, and received five fewer yellow cards as he improved from seven last season to two throughout all of 2022.
Glesnes was selected to the 2022 MLS All-Star Team that went on to defeat the LIGA MX All-Stars 2-1 on Aug. 10.
The award was voted on by MLS club technical staff, media and current MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results:
|2022 MLS Defender of the Year Voting Breakdown|
|Name||Player Vote||Club Vote||Media Vote||Average Vote|
|Glesnes, Jakob (PHI)||17.90%||28.50%||31.90%||26.10%|
|Wagner, Kai (PHI)||8.00%||29.30%||6.40%||14.57%|
|Callens, Alexander (NYC)||7.30%||19.50%||12.80%||13.20%|
A full list of previous MLS Defender of the Year award winners can be found below:
|MLS Defender of the Year Winners|
|2022||Jakob Glesnes||Philadelphia Union|
|2021||Walker Zimmerman||Nashville SC|
|2020||Walker Zimmerman||Nashville SC|
|2019||Ike Opara||Minnesota United FC|
|2018||Aaron Long||New York Red Bulls|
|2017||Ike Opara||Sporting Kansas City|
|2016||Matt Hedges||FC Dallas|
|2015||Laurent Ciman||Montréal Impact|
|2014||Chad Marshall||Seattle Sounders FC|
|2013||Jose Goncalves||New England Revolution|
|2012||Matt Besler||Sporting Kansas City|
|2011||Omar Gonzalez||LA Galaxy|
|2010||Jamison Olave||Real Salt Lake|
|2009||Chad Marshall||Columbus Crew|
|2008||Chad Marshall||Columbus Crew|
|2007||Michael Parkhurst||New England Revolution|
|2006||Bobby Boswell||D.C. United|
|2005||Jimmy Conrad||Kansas City Wizards|
|2004||Robin Fraser||Columbus Crew|
|2003||Carlos Bocanegra||Chicago Fire|
|2002||Carlos Bocanegra||Chicago Fire|
|2001||Jeff Agoos||San Jose Earthquakes|
|2000||Peter Vermes||Kansas City Wizards|
|1999||Robin Fraser||LA Galaxy|
|1998||Lubos Kubik||Chicago Fire|
|1997||Eddie Pope||D.C. United|
|1996||John Doyle||San Jose Clash|