Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Blake finds himself in rare company
by Paul Kennedy, January 11th, 2014 4:07PM

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
WPS owner Borislow dies of heart attack    
[OBITUARY] Dan Borislow, the controversial owner of franchise MagicJack in defunct Women's Professional Soccer, died Tuesday ...
MLS: Three games to watch    
[PREVIEW: Week 20] A pair of important Eastern Conference games and the first showdown of the ...
Teen star Saucedo becomes first Utahn to sign with RSL    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] Real Salt Lake has signed 17-year-old academy star Sebastian Saucedo from RSL Arizona as ...
Teenager Hyndman in Fulham squad for Jax match    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Emerson Hyndman, the 18-year-old grandson of former FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman, is in ...
Concorde Fire plays PDA Harkes for McGuire Cup    
[U.S. YOUTH SOCCER] Georgia's Concorde Fire Elite and New Jersey's PDA Harkes will play Saturday for ...
What They're Saying: Arsene Wenger    
"He is a player with a good eye and good technique and is very agile. He ...
Top 20 U.S. soccer crowds    
[CROWD COUNT] Wednesday's game between the LA Galaxy and Manchester United drew 84,632 fans at the ...
Galaxy II signs academy product Jaime Villarreal    
[USL PRO] Jaime Villarreal, younger brother of Jose Villarreal, signed with LA Galaxy II, becoming the ...
Falcao is back! Playing baseball    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Colombian Radamel Falcao, recovering from an ACL injury, was perhaps the ...
Freddy Adu's latest stop: Serbia    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] A decade after making his pro debut at the age of 14 with D.C. ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives