Jamaican Goalkeeper Blake keeps European Dream Alive
Goalkeeper Andre Blake (photo) in action with Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup match against Mexico on July 13, 2017. (Photo: AFP Services)
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KINGSTON, Jamaica - The outstanding Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake is clinging to his dream of taking his heroics to the glossy stages of European football.

The 27-year-old, who distinguished himself and was duly adjudged the top custodian at the last year’s Concacaf Gold Cup, says he is keeping his eyes open and his hopes up for any opportunity to advance his already fantastic career.

At the 2017 edition of Concacaf’s flagship tournament, the Boyz were defeated 2-1 in the final by hosts USA, and Blake excelled in every game for his country.

“The sky is the limit, and as a youngster I have dreamt of playing in Europe, and if it is meant to be, it will be… maybe it’s just not time yet,” he told concacaf.com on a recent visit to Jamaica where he tended goal for Jamaica in 1-1 friendly international draw against Antigua and Barbuda.

Following his exploits at the Gold Cup, a number of English Premier League clubs had made serious moves to secure Blake’s services, but the negotiations fell through because Jamaica’s FIFA ranking was outside the 50 mark, which disqualified the Jamaican for a British work permit.

But Blake, who hails from Clarendon parish in Jamaica and was a standout for the Connecticut Huskies of the US collegiate league, remains committed to realizing his dream and to help lower his country’s ranking.

“What I have to do is make sure that I keep putting in the work, so whenever the chance comes I will be able to take it with both hands,” expressed Blake, the gangly goalie who surprises with his catlike reflexes.

“Our ranking is now at 49 and we intend to keep working hard to keep it below 50,” he added.

Blake continues to put in a good shift for his US Major League outfit Philadelphia Union and says he is pleased with his form and that of his club after three matches. 

“Things are good at the club, we are off to a good start... but I am just looking to have another great season and to just keep working to get better,” said the 27-year-old, who has suited up for Philadelphia some 66 times since joining in 2014.

Philadelphia opened its US MLS campaign with a 2-0 win over New England Revolution, drew 0-0 with Columbus Crew and lost 0-3 to Colorado Rapids.