Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Blake finds himself in rare company
by Paul Kennedy, January 11th, 2014 4:07PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  college men, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS ROOKIE CLASS: Ten to Watch] Andre Blake, who drew rave reviews on Day 1 of the adidas MLS Player Combine in Lauderhill, Fla., is the rare keeper who could crack the top five among MLS SuperDraft picks. Since early in his sophomore season, Ray Reid, his coach at Connecticut, has been saying the Jamaican is the best goalie in college soccer. Indeed, the junior ranks as one of the most dominating keepers in the history of college soccer.

MLS Rookie Class: Ten to Watch
1. Jordan Allen (Univ. of Virginia-signed with Real Salt Lake)
Read his story. Follow @jayalllen.
2. Steve Birnbaum (Univ. of California)
Read his story. Follow @StevenBirnbaum
3. Marlon Hairston (Univ. of Louisville)
Read his story. Follow @MARLYG10
4. Christian Dean (Univ. of California)
Read his story. Follow @christiandean22
5. Pedro Ribeiro (Coastal Carolina Univ.)
Read his story. Follow @pedronalribeiro
6. Andre Blake(Univ. of Connecticut)

The 6-foot-4 Blake was already 20 when he enrolled at UConn, having played for Sporting Central Academy in the Jamaican National Premier League after graduating from high school at Clarendon College, and he immediately established himself as a star, running off a string of nine straight shutouts early in his freshman season.

Blake finished his college career with 37 shutouts in 68 games and was selected an All-American all three seasons with the Huskies. Perhaps his greatest feat came at the end of the 2013 season when over the span of four games UConn played in three shootouts and Blake stopped seven penalty kicks, including two to knock off No. 1 seed UCLA on the road.

Most MLS teams are set in goal -- several traded for keepers in December -- but Blake is a rare talent. MLS goalies rarely go high in the draft. In the first college draft, held in 1996, UCLA keeper Chris Snitko (32 games in five MLS seasons) went to Tampa Bay with the No. 5 pick, but the three Bruin keepers who followed him to the pros -- all future MLS stars -- didn't go until the third round: Kevin Hartman in 1997, Matt Reis in 1998 and Nick Rimando, the fifth of five UCLA players to be picked in a class that included Carlos Bocanegra and Pete Vagenas, in 2000.

Blake has already been tipped as the Jamaican national team keeper of the future after the retirement of Donovan Ricketts -- he joined the Reggae Boyz in camp before the June 2013 qualifiers -- but he is not getting ahead of himself. Just as he did not get ahead of himself when pro offers came his way out of high school in Clarendon Parish, which he says produces more soccer stars than track stars, he isn't about to anoint himself as an MLS starter.

"My first goal is to try to be in a team, compete and win a starting job," Blake told the Jamaica Star on the eve of the Combine. "I just tell myself wherever I get drafted I'll go and do my best."

MLS SuperDraft, College Goalies (Top 5 Picks)
1996 Tampa Bay-Chris Snitko (UCLA) #5
2000 Colorado-Adin Brown (William & Mary) #3
2005 Chivas USA-Brad Guzan (South Carolina) #2
2007 Chris Seitz-Real Salt Lake (Maryland) #4
2011 Zac MacMath-Philadelphia (Maryland) #5


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS's best player moves of 2016 (Part 1)    
How complicated are MLS rules for a team seeking to sign a player? The league lists ...
MLS: Rolfe and Manneh handed bans    
The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended D.C. United forward Chris Rolfe and Vancouver's Kekuta Manneh for ...
No U.S. refs picked for Olympic Games    
The FIFA Referees Committee named 32 referees and 56 assistant refs for men's and women's Olympic ...
What They're Saying: Jamie Vardy lookalike Lee Chapman    
"Ranieri spotted me. The rest of the players were banging on the window for me to ...
NASL: Rowdies sign former England international Joe Cole    
The Tampa Bay Rowdies have signed former England international Joe Cole on a contract through the ...
TV Report: Wambach joins ESPN    
ESPN has hired retired women's star Abby Wambach to serve as an analyst and contributor, beginning ...
What They're Saying: Guus Huddink    
"If you have done some judo and wrestling, you can easily fall. Even at my age, ...
Video Pick: Big goalkeeper blooper punished with volley    
In the German Bundesliga 2, first-place Freiburg led last-place Paderborn, 2-0, when goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow shanked ...
Making a List: U.S. Copa Centenario representation    
A total of 59 players representing 27 teams in MLS, the NASL and USL were named ...
Copa Centenario: Complete preliminary rosters    
The preliminary 40-player rosters for the 16 teams competing this summer's Copa Centenario were released. These ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives