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Breaking: Who is Jakob Glesnes?

Photo courtesy of Strømsgodset Toppfotball

This post has been updated.

Early Tuesday morning, rumors started circulating that the Union had signed Norwegian centerback Jakob Glesnes from Strømsgodset Toppfotball, a club in the Norwegian first division.

Despite being just twenty-five years old, Glesnes has been the captain at Strømsgodset for two years. He has three goals in 113 appearances for the Norwegian club, meaning Jack Elliott could have competition as the Union’s top tall blonde European centerback who occasionally scores goals.

Transfermarkt, whose valuations should be taken with a grain of salt, lists the current market value for Glesnes as $798,000. Bizarrely, preliminary research shows that there is no YouTube highlight video for Glesnes.

Strømsgodset has announced the transfer here (Google Translate option) pending a medical exam and “personal conditions” with the Union. Per the article, Glesnes left Norway for the United States early Tuesday morning. “If all goes well, he will be presented as a Philadelphia Union player in no time.”

The Union declined comment on the matter.


  1. Saw this on Twitter this morning. Sounds great to me. And he could be in camp before the season starts! What’s not to like! Come on the U!!

  2. Worth 700,000 euros on Transfermarkt. That’s pretty high value for an incoming Union player. Wonder how much Tanner paid.

    If only he had a starting right back up his sleeve as well. (Though I thought Ray played really well, particularly late in the season, last year)

  3. Kind of seems like a weird move? Is Mark McKenzie expected to miss time this year, or am I missing something, because an international slot and transfer fee that’s probably above $500,000 seems an awful lot for a third CB.

    • Mark is expected to miss Union games while representing his country (Olympics/USMNT).
      It could also be that someone will eventually be sold for a healthy transfer fee in the next 6-12 months.
      Jack is listed at 1.7M transfer value. Mark’s value is expected to increase as his profile rises with the Olympics/USMNT and a full healthy season with Union.
      Or you could take the view that Union will spend time in the 3-5-2 formation that has been publicly discussed by Curtain and/or Tanner (can’t remember).

    • I think you always need to plan on a guy missing time. I have to say I like Tanner’s approach to squad building. Rather than pour his whole budget into a piece or two, he’s spreading it out and getting real quality and depth at nearly every position. He must realize this league really is there for the taking. We weren’t that far off last year.

      • Exactly. It’s almost inevitable that someone is going to get hurt and Collin is OK for a game or two. But when McKenzie has to have his other appendix removed we’ll be glad to have the depth.

      • other appendix!? lol that was great.

    • McKenzie will almost certainly miss two games for Olympic qualifiers this spring, and could miss up to four if the US U23s qualify for Tokyo and make a deep run.
      More relevant to the conversation is that the Union gave up 50 goals in 2019, and Tanner, when commenting about that has seemed determined and adamant that it will not happen again.

    • As long as he passes Collin on the depth charts, I’m fine with it.
      That said, props to Aurelien for being a good guy, and very much needed for locker room glue (translating between the guys, veteran presence, mentor, funny, etc.)

  4. Incredible!I am so excited for this season

  5. I like this. It definitely provides extra cover at CB, and he’s hopefully a more viable piece than Collin. This could also allow the team to play a great 3-5-2 formation, like noted above. McKenzie, Glesnes, and Elliott in the back, with wingbacks Kai on the left and Bedoya on the right. That formation doesn’t require as much defensive responsibility for the wings (though I’m sure Bedoya would be great), and he can bomb forward or just control the right flank. Then Brendan, Monteiro, and Oravec in the middle. That would be really dynamic.

  6. Vince Devine says:

    Any word on Green Cards? By my count we’re now up to 10 players for 8 spots. Elliott should be close (was expected to get a green card last year with Burke), and Mbaizo or Ngalina can be loaned to U2.

    • Best not loan either one unrecallably for the full season.
      They will have only four strikers to cover two positions until Burke gets back from his loan, which is May at the earliest.
      And Mbaizo and Gaddis are the only two right backs. The next right back on my depth chart is Nate Harriel of the Academy, who played a lot and well for Bethlehem last year but is not yet signed to a full professional contract with either team.

  7. Wikipedis says he has been in the Norwegian first division since the 2015-2016 season, so he is experienced. He debuted in March of 2016. He stands 6’2″ DOB is March 25. 1994.
    The Norwegian league plays a spring summer fall schedule. Glesnes club finished 11th of 16 last season. They sold their captain, and the club announcement says negotiations continued for a while, so it is a fair assumption that Tanner paid good money for this man. Wikipedia says he has trialed at Liverpool and Copenhagen as well as some clubs in the Norwegian league.
    Seems fair to conclude that ownership has given Tanner some money to work with, within the philosophy of not overpaying for super stars.
    Transfermarkt says Glesnes’ contract is up at the end of the 2020 season, and the club’s story in translation says he had extended the contract last year, so it seems they had made a commitment to him that Tanner has persuaded them to forgo.
    Fairness also requires saying that while Chris Albright’s role is unknown, hindsight on other deals this year and last hints strongly that he has played a role and therefore should get some recognition for it when the time comes.

    • Good reminder about Chris Albright. Story after story points to the long-term relationship building that he’s patiently developed with players and (presumably) their agents.

    • The more I hear about these player connections and the work put in to make them, the better I feel about Albright.
      It sounds like he is the one heading these signings over the goal line.

  8. Whether or not all these new players work out, I love that the Union are going from South America, to Slovokia, to Norway in order to find players. In Ernst I trust.

  9. I like the depth signing for CB, but I’m still much more concerned about our attacking mid position. Unless Brendan took a huge step forward this off-season I’m not entirely sure where the service will be coming from. Ilsinho is not a starting #10, at least not a consistently effective one, and ditto to Monteiro.

    • Spreading the muse says:

      Kacper’s foot and what is behind Aaronson are the 2 remaining questions.

      Bill Walton of strikers?

      BA specialized in missing sitters when he wasn’t being bounced off the turf without calls. Talented, but not ripe enough to trust.

      2 things they have to stop doing at once:

      A). Playing their 2 big CF’s together.

      B). Using Monty as a backstop at the 10. His worst position by far-and it took him away from what he does best. That would mean having somebody *vet* available to pick up the slack if .22 isn’t a big enough caliber………

      • .22, very nice! The unknowns are few. BA was getting better every game. I’m with you on your points. We will have to see what other pieces Tanner and Albright find. Overall..I’m pretty stoked!

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      I get the sense Brenden took a big step forward. I’m pretty sure he made the final cut for the youth national team. And they haven’t so much as hinted at looking for a #10, so I sense they’re extremely confident in him. Still baffles me how he didn’t travel with Mark for last year’s world cup

  10. I also find this a weird move. Yes, for sure, you need 4 CBs. I wouldn’t want Colin to be our only decent backup. Not only will McKenzie miss games, CBs get hurt a lot.

    But this smells like too much money to pay for a backup CB (in this league). Some people above said that maybe someone is getting sold, but that would then mean that we’d have to be selling (Elliot?) for more than we are paying for this hunk of Norweigan Wood. How likely is that? And how wise?

    Also, somebody mentioned playing a 3-5-2… but if we do that we need like 5 or 6 CBs on the roster. Curious all around. Would rather have seen the money spent on a new RB instead, but… in Ernst I trust.

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