UConn’s Blake Tops List of New England Collegians Tabbed at Draft

First overall pick Andre Blake was among three New England collegians selected in Thursday’s SuperDraft.

Blake was selected by the Philadelphia Union, who traded up to select the Generation adidas goalkeeper from UConn. University of Hartford center back and fellow Generation adidas member Damion Lowe was selected by the Seattle Sounders with the eighth pick, while Blake’s UConn teammate, Mamadou Diouf, was tabbed by the Vancouver Whitecaps with the 30th pick.

Blake became the first player from a New England college taken first overall since 2002 (Chris Gbandi). The 23-year-old keeper posted a 0.75 goals against average and collected 10 clean sheets in the process during the Huskies’ 2013 campaign. His 36 career shutouts rank third all-time in program history, while his 46 wins are the fourth most by a Connecticut goalkeeper.

“Andre’s selection today has verified what we have thought for some time,” said longtime UConn head coach Ray Reid in a release from the school on Thursday. “He is a big time goalkeeper and will have a great professional career.”

Lowe started and played in 43 matches, totaling 20 career points on eight goals and four assists while helping the defense shut out 15 opponents. He is the first Hartford prospect selected in the MLS draft since Rob Jachym, who was selected by the Columbus Crew in the first round (3rd overall) of the 1997 draft.

Diouf collected 36 career goals at UConn, ranking him eighth in Husky history. The Dakar, Senegal native recorded a career-high five assists in 2013 and added two goals. He collected a career-high five assists in 2013, and topped UConn’s scoring charts with 15 tallies in 2012.

“Mamadou leaves UConn with every possible honor he could have achieved,” said Reid. “He is deserving of being drafted and will do a fantastic job at the next level.”

The SuperDraft will resume on Tuesday, when the third and fourth rounds will be conducted via conference call.

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About Brian O'Connell

Brian O'Connell serves as editor and staff writer at New England Soccer Today. He's also the Revolution beat writer for ESPNBoston.com, and is Officer at Large for the North American Soccer Reporters. He regularly contributes to The Associated Press, and has been featured on MLSSoccer.com & RevsNet.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianOConnell21 or contact him via e-mail at BOConnell21@aol.com