2020 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year comes to agreement with club for three-year guarantee
CHESTER, Pa. – Philadelphia Union announced today that the club has signed goalkeeper Andre Blake to a new, multi-year contract extension. Following another standout season in 2020, where Blake earned MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and led the Union to their first ever Supporters’ Shield, the deal ensures that Blake is under contract with the Union through 2024, with a club option for 2025.
“Andre was the backbone of the best defense in MLS last season and has been a key piece of our club’s success the past few seasons. His high level of play has allowed us to give young defenders such as Mark McKenzie, Kai Wagner, and Olivier Mbaizo opportunities to prove themselves at the MLS level,” said Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner. “As the rest of the league recognized last year, we have the best keeper in North America, and he is continuously getting better. While his play speaks for itself on the field, his mentality and the leadership role he has taken in our young squad has been as equally important. We are thrilled that he will remain with our club for years to come.”
Blake, 30, signed with the Union in 2014 when he was selected by Philadelphia first overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, the first goalkeeper ever to be taken first overall in the history of the event. In 2020, with Blake leading from the back, the Union made history as they became the only team in MLS history to win every home match in a single season (9-0-0). They also ended the season with the fewest goals allowed in MLS, as well the fewest goals allowed in a single season in Union history, that culminated in the club’s first Supporters’ Shield victory.
Blake holds the Union all-time records in games played, games started, minutes played, saves and clean sheets, as well as setting the single-season saves record (118 saves, 2018) and single-season wins (14 wins, 2018). He has twice been named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year (2016, 2020) and was named a finalist in 2017 . Additionally, he was named to the MLS All-Star squad two times (2016, 2019), becoming the first two-time All Star in Union history, and has been twice nominated for an ESPY award for best Major League Soccer player (2017, 2021).
Internationally, Blake, who regularly features as Jamaica’s number one goalkeeper and captain, has earned 46 caps for the Reggae Boyz. He is currently playing in his fourth Gold Cup, having been on the squad for the tournament in 2015, 2017 and 2019. In 2017, he captained his team to the final where he kept three clean sheets and only allowed four goals in six games, earning him the Golden Gloves award and a best XI nomination.
Prior to being drafted by the Union, Blake played collegiately for three years at the University of Connecticut. During his time there, he earned Conference Goalkeeper of the Year awards each season. He also earned All-Big East first team, NSCAA First Team All-American, Soccer America MVP First Team and Soccer America All-Freshman First Team, as well as becoming a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy his junior year.
TRANSACTION: Philadelphia Union sign goalkeeper Andre Blake to a contract extension on July 15, 2021.