On Thursday, Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake was named the 2016 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. In 32 starts this season, Blake made 99 saves in route to ten wins on the season with six shutouts. In addition to his numerous statistics, Blake also was named a 2016 MLS All-Star.
Blake won the award handily as he earned 24.15% of the vote, over ten percent more than second-place finisher New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles. Club management, media members, and current players vote for the yearly award.
The former University of Connecticut standout was selected as the first overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by Philadelphia. Blake only made seven MLS starts up until the beginning of this season due to injuries and roster decisions.
Blake also currently serves as the starting goalkeeper for the Jamaican National Team, where he started all three matches for the Reggae Boys in this year’s Copa America Centenario.
Blake joins short list of award-winning Union players
With the win, the Jamaican International becomes the first goalkeeper in Union history to win the illustrious award. In Philadelphia history, he is only one of four players to ever receive an end of the year MLS award as he joined fellow teammates Chris Pontius, who was recently named 2016 MLS Comeback Player of the Year, Keegan Rosenberry, recipient of the 2016 MLS Fair Play Award, and former teammate Sebastien Le Toux, who won 2010 MLS Best XI honors plus the 2010 and 2011 MLS Fair Play Award.
Week in and Week out, Blake dazzled spectators by making ridiculous save after save as he was a major factor in leading Philadelphia to their first MLS Cup playoff appearance in five years. Over the course of the season, Blake was even nominated 12 times for MLS Save of the Week.
At only age 26, Blake should be able to only improve on his already excellent skills in this league.