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
Andre Blake takes goalkeeping 'gift' to Philly
by Mike Woitalla, January 16th, 2014 4:23PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  college men, mls, philadelphia union

MOST COMMENTED

[2014 MLS SUPERDRAFT] It was a bittersweet day for UConn coach Ray Reid when he saw his Husky Andre Blake become the first goalkeeper to be picked No. 1 in an MLS draft.

“For him, it’s the right time [to go pro]," said Reid, for whom the 23-year-old Jamaican played three seasons before opting to go pro after his junior year. “He’s done a great job. I was looking forward to winning a championship with him, but he’s done everything else we wanted him to do.”

The Huskies reached the NCAA quarterfinals in each of Blake’s three seasons. More than half of his 68 games were shutouts and last season -- 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.

Blake is already in line to succeed Donovan Ricketts in the Jamaican national team's goal. Philadelphia traded for the No. 1 pick with D.C. United to land Blake, who will aim to wrest the starting spot away from Zac MacMath.

Reid, for one, believes Blake will excel at the next level.

“We knew when he arrived as a freshman he was special,” said Reid. “He’s fantastic. A great kid. Obviously a great goalkeeper. He worked hard everyday. Great in the air. Great with his feet. He can distribute the ball. A great leader. He really deserves this. I’m very happy for him.”

Blake played keeper and forward until at age 17 he decided to focus solely on goalkeeping. Playing in the field helped him become such a good distributor of the ball.

“He’s better with his feet than some of our field players,” said Reid.

Blake started falling in love with goalkeeping as a young boy when his father would take Andre and his five brothers to a school field in May Pen -- a southern Jamaican town of 60,000 -- for kickarounds.

“My dad and my brothers would always take me to the field and I found myself standing in the goal,” said Andre. “Catching the ball was something I liked. It came a little bit easy for me so I thought maybe it was something I was blessed with, a gift.”


No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
D.C. and Orlando City played to a 1-1 draw in preseason action on Friday. Two matches ...
49ers and NBA Kings ante up on Sac MLS bid    
Sacramento Republic FC ownership continues to grow with the announcement that San Francisco 49ers owner and ...
U.S. women head to Europe without three stars    
Four months ahead of the 2015 Women's World Cup, the USA heads to Europe for friendlies ...
MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick will return    
Out-of-market packages MLS Live, MLS's subscription streaming service, and MLS Direct Kick, MLS's cable and satellite ...
What They're Saying: Paul Rogers    
"Did I want to pull out [of the U.S. team] this close to a World Cup? ...
MLS Trade Central: Agudelo returns to Revs    
The New England Revolution got a boost for its MLS title hopes when 22-year-old Juan Agudelo ...
Chelsea vs. Man City: Showdown At Stamford Bridge     
On Saturday, two of the most expensive teams money can buy will square off in a ...
What They're Saying: Bob Gansler    
"I'm doing fine. I recovered quite quickly, to their surprise. I was able to leave (the ...
Video Pick: Back-heel volley golazo from Chelsea youngster     
Kasey Palmer, an 18-year-old midfielder, scored this beautiful goal in U-21 action against West Ham.
Obituary: Milton Aimi    
Milton Aimi played a variety of roles in spurring the growth of soccer in Texas and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives