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
Video Pick: The Bundesliga's Top 5 golazos     
The German Bundesliga's 23rd game day lived up to the league's reputation as the Europe's highest ...
Region IV teams sweep ODP titles again     
For the second straight year, Region IV teams won all four ODP Championships. Cal South took ...
What They're Saying: Sinisa Mihajlovic    
"Let's be clear. I didn't take his neck, I took his shirt, pushed his chest and ...
Johnson hits Gladbach winner; no stopping Tijuana    
Fabian Johnson scored his first goal since moving to third-place Borussia Moenchengladbach in its 2-0 victory ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
Preseason play wrapped up Saturday with the Houston Dynamo (Carolina Challenge Cup), New York Red Bulls ...
MLS: Projected opening day lineups    
MLS is slated to start its 20th season on Friday when the defending champion LA Galaxy ...
Gallardo shines as U.S. U-17s rout Cuba     
Joe Gallardo, who suffered a broken shinbone last August, scored a hat trick as the USA ...
Garber: 'Nobody's looking for a work stoppage'    
Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston on Friday, MLS commissioner Don Garber ...
What They're Saying: Univision's Juan Carlos Rodriguez    
"If the rights are already fixed, there's little incentive to FIFA to award 2026 to the ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
The MLS preseason wraps up on Saturday with 18 of 20 teams in action, all but ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives