Legend of Jakob Glesnes: Philadelphia Union defender nets another golazo

In an Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs game that was crying out for a goal, up stepped Jakob Glesnes to rocket the Philadelphia Union to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Norwegian center back uncorked a 25-yard volley in the 123rd minute – all as penalty kicks loomed – to send the New York Red Bulls to a 1-0 defeat at Subaru Park. The Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed survived a match of attrition, outlasting the No. 7 seed.

An instant viral social media moment was born, one that gave the Union their second-ever playoff win after also bouncing RBNY in Round One during extra time in 2019’s version.

"I saw the ball was coming out and I was just thinking from the start, 'OK, I just have to end this'," Glesnes said post-game. "And then I was getting a great touch, maybe it was a little lucky also, but in the end it was a great goal, and from the moment that I scored the goal until the game was over. I don't remember much from that, it was, I was full of, I don't know how to say it but I was so happy."

LAFC free kick

It was the third absolute golazo across Glesnes’ two years in MLS, after he joined Philadelphia from Norwegian club Stromsgodset Toppfotball ahead of the 2020 campaign.

The first came in March 2020, a 40-yard free kick in a thrilling 3-3 draw at LAFC. That shot heard round the world occurred just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the global sports world, and it was an indicator of what the defender could offer on these shores.

Atlanta blast

Glesnes then showed it wasn’t a one-off, salvaging a 2-2 draw at Atlanta United with a 93rd-minute blast during a June 2021 match. That right-footed laser rattled off goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s crossbar and over the line, giving him another must-see highlight.

The takeaway? Don’t give Glesnes space on his right foot, no matter how far he is from goal. He might just unleash an absolute stunner.

His strike vs. RBNY was also the latest in any MLS competition, arriving three minutes into stoppage time of extra time's last frame.

After Glesnes’ latest moment of magic, the Union will now host No. 3 Nashville SC or No. 6 Orlando City SC on Nov. 28 in an Eastern Conference Semifinal.