Jamaica int’l GK Blake driven to achieve more in 2017

Andre Blake (pictured) was named MLS's top goalkeeper in 2016 and appeared in all three of Jamaica's games in the Copa America Centenario. (Photo: Mexsport)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – It was a quite a year for Jamaica international Andre Blake.

But as the plaudits pile up, the 26-year-old Philadelphia Union standout is already looking to do even better in 2017.

First, though, here’s a listing of the individual honors:

- 2016 Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year (second Jamaican winner, Donovan Ricketts was first in 2010 and 2013)
- 2016 MLS Best XI
- 2016 MLS All Star

Additionally, Blake helped his team earn a spot in the MLS playoffs for the second time and first since 2011.

He credits the success to hard work and training the right way.

“It has been a momentous year for me,” said the 6-foot-4 Blake, who appeared in 32 MLS regular-season games in 2016. “It was not easy to achieve all of these things. It has come down to hard work. I have ensured to do my best in training, so that I can excel in matches. I am humbled and honored for all these accolades and I plan to use these as motivation factors pressing forward with my career.”

Blake was drafted into the MLS in January 2014 as the number one overall pick, becoming the first goalkeeper and Caribbean player to be selected that high. While his play continues to validate that lofty standing, he has set plenty of new goals.

“2017 is a big year for me as well for both club and country,” Blake finished. “I would like to help Jamaica win the Caribbean Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. In the MLS, I would like to help my club win the MLS Cup. These trophies are priorities for me and with hard work definitely this is possible.”