Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Blake seeks ‘big push’ from CFU win

Published:Monday | December 29, 2014 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
file National goalkeeper Andre Blake

National goalkeeper AndrÈ Blake, who plies his trade in the Major League Soccer (MLS) for Philadelphia Union and who was shortlisted for the 2014 CONCACAF Goalkeeper of the Year Award, is looking forward to a standout 2015 season.

While the shot stopper did not win last Tuesday's top regional goalkeeper award, Blake viewed his nomination as a source of inspiration.

"My goal from here is to continue improving, build on weak areas and get to the highest point that my ability can take me," Blake, who was acquired from DC United in the January 2014 Draft, told The Gleaner.

Played four games

Since then, he has played four games for Philadelphia Union. Those included a friendly against Crystal Palace, two US Open Cup knockout games and an MLS match against Houston Dynamo.

Despite the limited appearances, Blake cherishes his time in the United States championship.

"My MLS experience has been awesome. It is very challenging, but challenges will only make me into a better player," he added.

Looking ahead to national duties, Blake is hoping the Reggae Boyz will do well internationally. He was outstanding at last month's Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Men's Caribbean Cup win in Montego Bay, a tournament in which Jamaica defeated arch-rivals Trinidad and Tobago 4-3 on penalties to win the final.

Blake won the best goalkeeper award after conceding just once in the entire tournament.

"The CFU gave me a big push. Winning the cup and golden glove was tremendous," the 25-year-old shared in an interview.

Last week, CONCACAF's top goalkeeper award went to Tim Howard of the United States, while Costa Rican goalie Keylor Navas was named 2014 Player of the Year.

The top referee award went to Mark Geiger of the USA, while local FIFA official Dwight Royal was among the nominees.

Meanwhile, the senior Reggae Boyz are scheduled to contest the CONCACAF Gold Cup and COPA championships in mid-2015, where Blake is hoping he can put in more big performances between the sticks.