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Four Union players named to MLS Best XI

Photo: Stephen Speer

With Philadelphia Union set to contest MLS Cup in just a few days, the end-of-season honors have continued to roll in.

Four Union players were named to the 2022 MLS Best XI on Wednesday: Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake, Defender of the Year Jakob Glesnes, Defender of the Year runner-up Kai Wagner, and attacking midfielder Daniel Gazdag.

This is Blake’s third time on the Best XI, while Glesnes, Wagner, and Gazdag are each making their first appearance.

The mark of four players in the Best XI tied for the second-most in league history with seven other sides, trailing only the five players placed by Miami Fusion (remember them?) way back in 2001.

All four players put up impressive statistics in 2022. A brief summary:

  • Blake’s .76 goals against average is the best mark in MLS history for a keeper who played in all 34 matches in one season.
  • Glesnes was the only outfield player in MLS who started and played every single minute for his side.
  • Wagner set the MLS single-season record for assists by a defender, notching 15 on the year.
  • Gazdag became the sixth player in league history to total at least 20 goals and 10 assists in a season, setting a Union single-season goals record in the process.

The four Union players are joined by one representative from their opponent in MLS Cup, LAFC, as attacker Carlos Vela earned his third Best XI selection.

The remainder of the Best XI are Nashville defender Walker Zimmerman and midfielder Hany Mukhtar, FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta and attacker Brandon Vazquez, Austin FC midfielder Sebastian Driussi, and FC Dallas attacker Jesus Ferreira.

Mukhtar also took home MLS MVP honors after a season that saw him win the Golden Boot with 23 goals and lead all players in MLS with 34 goal contributions. Andre Blake finished third in the MVP voting behind Mukhtar and Driussi.

MLS Cup update

The Union traveled to Los Angeles on Tuesday ahead of MLS Cup. They’ll train in Southern California for the next few days in preparation for the championship match.

Thursday is MLS Media Day, which will feature press conferences from Union and LAFC players as well as a State of the League address by commissioner Don Garber.

Union manager and Coach of the Year Jim Curtin and his LAFC counterpart, Steve Cherundolo, will speak to the media on Friday, as both teams will train at Banc of California Stadium. PSP will be on hand to provide coverage from the West Coast.

MLS Cup finally arrives on Saturday, November 5 at 4 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. local time), with kickoff set for 4:05 p.m. The match will be televised on Fox, Univision, and TUDN. The Union are hosting viewing parties, for which you can RSVP here.


  1. Having 4 players named to the Best XI is absolutely amazing. And yet, it should’ve been 5.

    Early in the season, I bought a jersey, and after extensive thought, decided to get Jack Elliott’s name on it. The guy has been one of the most underrated players in the league, for years.

  2. Who from PSP will be in LA? Will you stay in the OMNI? If not will we see you at the Tailgate?

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