Blake chasing more glory in MLS play-offs

November 24, 2020
Andre Blake
Andre Blake

National goalkeeper and captain Andre Blake has enjoyed individual success in his seventh Major League Soccer (MLS) season with his club, the Philadelphia Union.

As he prepares for another postseason campaign, he hopes that there are more team trophies in his immediate future.

The Philadelphia Union will begin their 2020 MLS Cup Play-off campaign tonight when they host the New England Revolution at Subaru Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania, at 8 p.m.

The 30-year-old Blake has been a key part of an unprecedented 2020 campaign which included the club winning their first trophy in franchise history, the Supporter's Shield (regular season title). He says he is proud of being able to win his first team title in six years.

"I haven't won a team trophy since 2014 [the Caribbean Cup with the Reggae Boyz]. So, I am very happy to be a part of this team and being able to lift this trophy," Blake told STAR Sports. "I am definitely looking forward to winning the MLS Cup as well. The work continues."

That work this season has earned him various individual honours, including the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year for the second time in his career, joining his countryman Donovan Ricketts to be among a small group of goalkeepers who have won the award twice. Additionally, he is one of the finalists for the Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. It's the first time a goalkeeper has been named a finalist since 2004. Blake said that despite the individual accomplishments, he appreciates the team ones more.

"While the individual accolades are very important, I cherish the team ones even more; because when you can have a bunch of individuals working collectively as a group towards a goal and achieving that goal, there is no better feeling," he said.

Blake's status for tonight's game is still to be determined as he is recovering from a hand injury that kept him out of the last two regular-season games. He says that he is being cautious with the injury, wary of the risks of rushing to come back too soon.

Fellow national and club teammate Cory Burke will have a role to play in their quest for the title. Burke returned to the team in October after resolving his visa issues and has scored two goals so far this season.

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