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Andre Blake signs new contract through 2026 with club option for 2027



Photo by Don Robson

Philadelphia Union star goalkeeper Andre Blake has a new contract that will keep him with the club through the World Cup year of 2026 with a club option for 2027, the team announced on Thursday.

Blake, 33, signed with the Union in 2014 when he was selected by Philadelphia first overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Connecticut, becoming the first goalkeeper ever to be taken first overall in the history of the event, and has been an integral part of the Union’s success since then. On August 26, 2023, Blake set a club record for most MLS appearances, surpassing defender Ray Gaddis with 222 appearances.

“Since joining the team, Andre has been a foundational piece to the club’s achievements,” Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner said in a news release. “He has shown himself to be one of the best goalkeepers in North America, and along with his proven sporting value, has taken on a leadership role both on and off the field. His guidance will play an important role in the further development of our young players and the team’s success. We’re happy to have reached an agreement to keep him here in Philadelphia.”

The announcement of his new deal puts to rest concerns the Jamaica international might be moving on after a cryptic social media post suggested he might be unhappy at the only professional club he’s ever played for. It also increases the chances of Blake representing Jamaica at the 2026 World Cup while still wearing a Union uniform.

“The best goalkeeper in all of MLS will continue to play here in Philadelphia where he’s won us a ton of games through the years,” Jim Curtin said at his Thursday press conference. “He’s an exemplary player who I think represents the badge as well as anybody has in the history of our club. The goalkeeper position for whatever reason continues to be very, very undervalued not only in MLS but in the world. I say it all the time to you guys it’s worth 12-15 points a year. We never talk about goalkeepers in the way that we do great attackers.”

In his ten years with the club, Blake holds the Union’s all-time records in games played, games started, minutes played, saves, and clean sheets. Additionally, Blake set single-season records for saves (118 in 2018) and wins (14 in 2018). During his Union career, Blake has racked up 73 clean sheets while maintaining a 1.23 GAA. His exceptional skills have earned him the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award three times, named to the MLS All-Star squad four times, and has been nominated twice for an ESPY award for Best Major League Soccer Player. His efforts both on and off the field earned him the 2022 John Wanamaker Athletic Award, presented to the athlete, team or organization which has done the most to reflect credit upon Philadelphia and the team or sport in which they excel.

Internationally, Blake is a stalwart for the Jamaican national team, earning 75 caps and 26 clean sheets. He was awarded the CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Glove and named to the Best XI in the 2017 tournament. In 2021, he helped Jamaica reach the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. In 2023, Blake made seven appearances, including four during the Gold Cup, where Jamaica reached the semifinals before falling to Mexico. In 2024, he led Jamaica to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Nations League.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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