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

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
USL: Roughnecks hire Vaudreuil as head coach    
David Vaudreuil, who started all five playoff games on D.C. United's 1997 MLS championship team, was ...
MLS Expansion: LAFC links up with OC    
LAFC, slated to begin play in MLS in 2018, has reached an agreement with the USL's ...
MLS Moves: 'Caps decline option on captain Morales    
After struggling with injuries the past two seasons, Chilean Pedro Morales has been officially cut loose ...
What They're Saying: Ashtone Morgan    
"It got to a point where it was harder to play at home than away." -- ...
MLS Moves: 'Burrito' is no longer on the RSL menu    
In 2017 at Rio Tinto Stadium the only place to get a burrito will be at ...
MLS Rewind: Mid-season splurges prove tricky    
One of the strongest arguments for MLS switching seasons from a spring-to-fall to fall-to-spring calendar isn't ...
MLS Cup Countdown: Newcomers deliver for finalists    
Neither the Seattle Sounders nor Toronto FC would likely be in the 2016 MLS Cup without ...
Video Pick: Terrific volley for Porto by Mexico's 'Tecatito'    
Mexico's 23-year-old Jesus "Tecatito" Corona scored Porto's second goal in a 5-0 UEFA Champions League win ...
USMNT: Arena meets Bundesliga quintet    
Less than two weeks after taking the job, new U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena has ...
MLS Moves: Hedges signs new deal with FC Dallas    
Keeping a successful team together can be a challenge in MLS, and rather let the contract ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives