Andre Blake Makes Soccer History

UConn's All-American goalkeeper Andre Blake '15 (CLAS) is the first goalkeeper selected #1 in the MLS draft. (Steve Slade '89 (SFA) for UConn)

UConn’s All-American goalkeeper Andre Blake ’15 (CLAS) is the first goalkeeper selected #1 in the MLS draft. (Steve Slade ’89 (SFA) for UConn)

Huskies All-American Andre Blake ’15 (CLAS) became the first goalkeeper ever to be taken with the top pick when he was selected as No. 1 by the Philadelphia Union in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday afternoon. Blake joined Chris Gbandi ’04 (CLAS), selected by Dallas in 2002, as the only other Husky to be taken as an overall No. 1 selection.

Blake, a May Pen, Jamaica native, was widely viewed as one of the most exciting prospects in the year’s draft, after a stellar career in a Husky uniform, earning 36 shutouts in his three years as a starter. Blake was twice named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year, and capped off his impressive run as the American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year in 2013.

Blake, a junior, has had a stellar career in Husky uniform. (Steve Slade '89 (SFA) for UConn)

Blake, a junior, has had a stellar career in Husky uniform. (Steve Slade ’89 (SFA) for UConn)

“Andre’s selection today has verified what we have thought for some time,” said 17th-year head coach Ray Reid. “He is a big-time goalkeeper and will have a great professional career.”

Blake’s 36 career shutouts rank third all-time in program history, while his 46 wins are the fourth most by a Connecticut goalkeeper. In 2013, the keeper amassed a 0.75 goals against average, and helped lead the Huskies to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal match. He was named as an NSCAA First Team All-American for the second consecutive season, after earning Third Team All-America status in his freshman year in 2011.

“For me, every day I just want to get better,” said Blake moments after being selected. “I’m just going to go in and work hard and try to make myself and my team better.”

“It was truly a pleasure to work with [such] a talented young man,” said assistant coach Mike Mordocco ’02 (CLAS), who was a member of the Huskies’ 2000 NCAA Championship squad. “The best of Blake is yet to come.”