Jamaica Reggae Boyz shot-stopper and captain Andre Blake insists he is looking forward to what is expected to be a big year for both his club and national teams.

The 29-year-old goalkeeper made the MLS All-Star roster in 2016 and again in 2019.  By the numbers, however, Blake had a less than impressive season between the sticks.  The Union gave up 57 goals last year in all competitions. 

Blake didn’t have a clean sheet in the team’s last 13 games of the season and only had six for the team all year.  His goals-against average rose from 1.5 in 2018 (57 goals allowed in 38 games) to 1.64 in 2019 (46 in 28).

With the Union, however, a part of the Jamaican's struggles might have to do with a tweak in the team’s gameplay, which is expected to adjust this season particularly with the addition of new personnel.

Internationally the player’s national team has made the CONCACAF Hexagonal round for the first time since the 2014 cycle and could be in line for a second appearance at the FIFA World Cup.  The Reggae Boyz finished runners-up on two occasions and then semi-finalists in the last three editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“There’s a lot of soccer to play for club and country, there’s going to be a lot on the line,” Blake told the Inquirer

“I have to make sure I do everything to be ready, to stay sharp, to stay fit. I’m definitely looking forward to a big year, to do whatever it takes in the net when I’m with club and country to be successful and to help my team be successful,” he added.

 

MLS All-Stars Andre Blake and Kemar Lawrence are hoping to pave a path for future generations of Jamaican players, after creating history at this year’s edition of the All-Star Game.

The duo's appearance in a match-up against Spanish La Liga team Atletico Madrid will mark the first time two Jamaicans have been selected on the same All-Stars team.

 Blake, the Jamaica national team captain, and Lawrence, once of its best defenders, represent a growing list that opted to play their football in North American as opposed to heading straight to the European leagues.

The list, which includes the likes of Alvas Powell, Darren Mattocks, and Peter-Lee Vassell are crucial cogs in Jamaica national team that has made it to three straight Gold Cup semi-finals and two finals.

“It should motivate the kids back there to help them to believe the sky is the limit,” Blake told Pro Soccer USA. “And they just have to keep working hard, worry about nothing and everything will take care of itself,” he added.

“It definitely brings a lot of inspiration.  Even those who did not believe are starting to believe right now. That’s always a good thing for me. I always want to inspire youths, to have them believe in their dreams and believe that anything is possible. For me and him, it’s definitely a big thing. We have to keep going and keep knowing that the sky is the limit and understand there are always younger generations that are looking up to us.”

 

 

The nation of Jamaica helps kick off the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup with a stellar match that features its national team square up against Honduras in Group C action at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

The two are no strangers, as Monday’s encounter marks the 24thoverall meeting between the nations. This will be the fifth Gold Cup meeting, with each side holding two wins.

After finishing second in 2015 and 2017, Jamaica will hope third time’s the charm and could not ask for a better start than to play in front of its home fans.

Goalkeeper Andre Blake and defender Kemar Lawrence return to guide the sixth-youngest squad of the tournament.

One of Jamaica’s promising additions comes in the form of 21-year-old Leon Bailey, who has scored 14 goals with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.

Honduras will have plenty to say about its own title hopes as it looks to reclaim the consistency that took it to semifinal appearances at the 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013 editions.

After failing to generate a team goal at the previous edition, Honduras will lean on the attacking trio of Alberth Elis, Romell Quioto and Anthony Lozano to make its mark at this year’s event.

Jamaica’s football bosses are breathing a collective sigh of relief following news that their first choice goalkeeper Andre Blake is expected to recover from injury in time to start in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June.

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