PHILADELPHIA - Despite Major League Soccer's constant attempt to reassure fans that Andre Blake can save a shot hit away from his body and the goalkeeper winning the ALLSTATE Goalkeeper of the year, fans are still split when it comes to the issue of the Philadelphia netminder covering the complete goalmouth.
“He’s a great shot stopper, something most MLS goalkeepers struggle with,” says Union fan Tanner Sharp. “It’s rare to see a goalkeeper consistently perform the simple task of saving a shot. I’m glad our goalkeeper is getting the attention he deserves for being the starting goalkeeper on a high caliber international squad.”
Blake starts for international juggernaut Jamaica, who currently sit 80th in FIFA rankings after ending their promising World Cup run in a 2-0 loss to CONCACAF giant killer Haiti in September.
Still, some fans are not convinced Blake is the goalkeeper everyone is praising him to be. Sporting Kansas City fan, Jacob Klotz, has his reservations on Blake. “A lot of people talk about the modern goalkeeper and what that means for today’s game. It’s refreshing to see a goalkeeper hone his skills on such a specific aspect of goalkeeping but maybe Blake could also work on his distribution, defensive organization, crossing situations, reading through balls to not foul Kaka in the box, positioning, footwork, momentum control, handling a 1v1 with more discipline, set positions on shots, or any of that other goalkeeping stuff?”
Blake was announced to be the MLS Goalkeeper of the year today, but according to insider sources, voters were polarized by Blake’s season. Mlssoccer.com writer and award voter Kalvin Graham has expressed his struggle with selecting Blake for the award.
“I know MLS likes to reward athletic goalkeepers with the Goalkeeper of the Year award, like Jimmy Neilsen, I’m just not sure if Blake has really made enough extension saves to win the award. I should probably watch the three minute video again to figure out if he’s deserving of the award. Either way, I’m just hopeful he can continue to develop into a great goalkeeper like Sean Johnson, Josh Saunders, or Carlo Cudicini.”