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
Philly's Curtin: 'I don't want to let the city down'    
[U.S. OPEN CUP: Final] As an organization, the Seattle Sounders have a brief yet rich tradition ...
All MLS teams but Sporting KC on double duty    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Preview] MLS's five entrants take a combined 5-0-1 record into Matchday 4 of ...
Arsenal and Man City look to repeat road feats    
[UCL: Three Games to Watch] The new UEFA Champions League season kicks off with a bang. ...
What They're Saying: Michael Bradley    
"They continue to assign Canadian referees with Canadian teams playing against American teams ... It makes ...
Intentional or not, Blas Perez's goal is amazing     
[VIDEO PICK: MLS Goals of the Week] It's unclear whether FC Dallas' Panamanian striker Blas Perez ...
Spain advances to finals for first time    
[2015 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] Spain qualified for the 2015 Women's World Cup for the first time ...
Curtin has Union on brink of first trophy    
[OPEN CUP: Final] The Philadelphia Union goes for its first trophy when it hosts the Seattle ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 27] FC Dallas and New England posted important victories to move up the rankings. ...
What They're Saying: NESCAC men's coaches    
"As a supporter, we ask you not engage in any unsportsmanlike actions, which include booing, taunting, ...
AC Milan's Menez brilliantly beats keeper with back-heel     
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] AC Milan's Jeremy Menez scored one of our favorite goals of the year ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives