Philadelphia Union today announced their club award winners for the 2021 season. Goalkeeper Andre Blake as Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row, midfielder Jamiro Monteiro as Offensive Player of the Year, Defenders Jack Elliott and Jakob Glesnes as Defensive Players of the Year, forward Kacper Przybylko as the Golden Boot winner, and midfielder Leon Flach as Newcomer of the Year.
Andre Blake earns the Union MVP honors after tying the club record for most clean sheets in a single season (12). He was also a finalist for the 2021 Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year award, claiming the award in 2016 and 2020. Blake ended the season with a 0.92 GAA, allowing 24 goals in the 26 matches in league play. With 12 shutouts, Blake ranked second for most shutouts in the league this season. The Jamaican international made two postseason starts in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, including the Eastern Conference Semifinals victory over Nashville SC, making two saves and not letting a single shot past him in the penalty kick shootout.
Jamiro Monteiro earns the Offensive Player of the Year award after another successful season with the club. The 28-year-old made 27 appearances (26 starts) for the Union this season in league play, scoring two goals and six assists to his tally. Monteiro also started two postseason matches in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, including the Eastern Conference Final vs NYCFC at Subaru Park (Dec. 5). His first goal of the season came in the Union's home opener against Inter Miami CF (Apr. 24). Monteiro was also named to the Concacaf Champions League Team of the Tournament, where he scored two goals and assisted twice in five games.
Jack Elliott and Jakob Glesnes earn the Defensive Player of the Year award after only allowing 35 goals in 34 matches, the second least in the Eastern Conference this year. Elliott has made 33 appearances (33 starts) for the Union this season in league play, scoring two and assisting two. The 26-year-old racked up four MLS Team of the Week mentions this year, the most within the club. Elliott scored his second goal of the season off a free kick against Columbus Crew (Oct. 3) to help the Union get their 10th clean sheet of the season. He also started two postseason matches in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, including the Eastern Conference Semifinal against Nashville SC where he scored a penalty in the shootout to help the Union advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Jakob Glesnes became the only Union player to play every minute of the 2021 MLS season. The Norwegian center back logged 3,060 minutes this season, making him just the seventh player in club history to reach this achievement, joining Haris Medunjanin (2019), Jack Elliott (2018), Auston Trusty (2018), Keegan Rosenberry (2016), Zach MacMath (2013) and Sebastien Le Toux (2011). Glesnes scored three and assisted two in league play. His second goal of the season came against Atlanta United on June 20, where he found the back of the net from 35 yards out to secure a point for the Union late in stoppage time, earning him a spot on MLS’ Team of the Week and securing the MLS Goal of the Week. In total, Glesnes racked up three mentions in the weekly award, the second most within the club. He also started two postseason matches in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, including the Round One fixture against the New York Red Bulls, where he scored the game-winning goal off a shot from outside of the box in extra time. The goal marks the latest game winner in MLS Cup Playoffs history (120+3’), as well as the latest goal in any MLS competition. On December 8th, the Union announced a new, multi-year contract extension for Glesnes.
Kacper Przybylko earns the Golden Boot award after being the Union’s top goal scorer for the 2021 season. Przybylko made 34 appearances (29 starts) this season in league play, scoring 12 and assisting four. He also started all three Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoff matches. The 28-year-old sits third on the all-time club scoring list with 35 career goals, one behind second place C.J. Sapong. In addition, he has been named the Golden Boot winner of the Scotiabank 2021 Concacaf Champions League after scoring five goals in the tournament. Przybylko was also named to the Concacaf Champions League Team of the Tournament.
Leon Flach earns the Newcomer of the Year award for a season that saw him named to the MLS' Top 22 Players Under 22 list, at no. 15. His performances throughout his debut season made him a regular starter in the Union’s midfield. Flach made 34 appearances (31 starts) this season in league play, scoring one and assisting three. He made his debut for the club during the Union's Concacaf Champions League 1-0 road win at Deportivo Saprissa (Apr. 7). Flach scored his first MLS goal in the 3-0 win over Columbus Crew (Oct. 3). He made his first postseason start against NYRB in Round One of the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs (Nov. 20).