The Union have announced that they have signed goalkeeper Andre Blake to a new multi-year contract that will keep him in Philly.
Just like in hockey, consistency in goal is of key importance in professional soccer. You need to try to keep the same person between the pipes as much as possible so that the rest of the club doesn’t need to worry. Consistency or lack thereof in goal can mean the difference between a win or a loss in any given match.
For the Philadelphia Union and their fans, it would appear that it isn’t something anyone will have to be concerned with for quite some time.
On Wednesday the Union announced they had signed goalkeeper Andre Blake to a new multi-year contract that will keep the 27-year-old in Chester for years to come. The club used Targeted Allocation Money to complete the contract.
Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said that keeping Blake with the Union was of key importance for the club to ensure their future success.
“It is a priority for us to build and secure the foundation of the Philadelphia Union, and Andre is as big a part of that foundation as any player. Ensuring he will be here for years to come is an important step for our club. We’re delighted to sign him to a new multi-year contract and would like to thank him for his dedication and hard work.”
Blake was selected with the first overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by the Union. He spent time on the bench his first few seasons, but there were flashes of just how good Blake would become, including a game against the New England Revolution. In that match Blake set a Union record with 10 stops to ensure Philly came away with a 1-1 draw.
Blake became the starting goalie permanently during the 2016 season and hasn’t looked back since.
That season Blake had a breakout year and was named an MLS All-Star as well as one of the MLS Best XI and the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. In 2017 he was once again one of the finalists for Goalkeeper of the Year and led the Jamaican National Team to a second place finish in the Gold Cup.
Since the beginning of the 2016 season, Blake has 69 catches, which is more than any other goalkeeper in MLS. He ranks fifth in saves and fourth in punches with 32.
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To put it another way, Andre Blake is one of the best, if not the best goalkeeper in MLS. And he will be staying in a Philadelphia Union uniform for years to come.
The Philadelphia Union begin their preseason on Feb. 17 against D.C. United before hosting the New England Revolution on March 3 to open the regular 2018 MLS season.