New England Soccer Today

UConn Alum Blake Stonewalls Revs

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Revolution coach Jay Heaps was quite familiar with the work of Andre Blake long before the Union keeper’s record-setting performance in Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

Blake, who attended the University of Connecticut from 2011-13, was heavily scouted by a number of MLS clubs coming out of college, including the Revolution.

After watching Blake stop a club-record 10 shots in his return to the region, Heaps was left impressed once again by the performance of a player he once scouted at Storrs, Ct.

“It was pretty good,” Heaps said. “He almost saved the penalty (from Lee Nguyen in the 36th minute) too. He was all over the place.”

Indeed, Blake was everywhere he needed to be on Saturday. With Union coach Jim Curtin fielding a makeshift lineup in anticipation of next week’s Open Cup final, the guests knew they’d need a strong performance from their defense.

It was evident throughout Saturday’s match that the approach might backfire. With striker Andrew Wenger assigned to right back, and Steven Vitoria struggling with distribution, it was up to Blake to save the day – which he did, time after time.

On a night in which the Revolution blasted 11 shots on target, and nearly went ahead late on a Juan Agudelo shot that smacked off the bar, the 24-year-old keeper remained strong.

In fact, during the final 20 minutes of the match, with the score level and the Revolution attack bearing down hard, Blake made no fewer than seven stops, some of which required quick reflexes. Not bad for a keeper who was starting only the fourth career game of his MLS career.

After the match, Blake didn’t dwell on his record-setting evening for long. Instead, he credited those around him for allowing him to raise his game.

“It was a good performance, but I just want to say I have a great goalkeeper coach that I believe in,” Blake said. “I have two goalkeepers, Brian (Sylvestre) and John (McCarthy), that we push each other every day so for here we only can get better.”

While the Union keeper said he would’ve liked to have gotten three points from Saturday’s contest, he can take solace in knowing that his heroics prevented the Revolution, who outshot their foe 20-5, from getting what would have been a deserved win.

“He’s really long,” Heaps said. “He makes these saves out of nowhere, and I thought we would’ve had two or three tonight and he was excellent.”

Leave a Reply