Jamaica Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake insists the team would love to focus on solely football issues but insist on being given adequate means needed to succeed.

The custodian made a triumphant return between the sticks for the Jamaica national team and certainly did his part in ensuring the team got at least a share of the points with Mexico.  Blake had missed the two previous games after pulling out of the team ahead of the first match with Suriname, following the team’s issues with Jamaica Football Federation general secretary Dalton Wint.

 The team and the JFF have had several disputes over the last few years, most notably ahead of the World Cup qualifiers when the team went on strike.  According to the player, the team would love to focus on on-the-field issues.

“If we are going to win, we have to be put in the best position to win.  For me, leadership is very important.  No matter how good you are you need people that are going to appreciate you and set you up to win,” Blake told journalists after the match.

We are going to always demand that, and we are always going to do what we need to do to get that.  When we come here to play football and just football.  So, when we come and have to deal with issues that aren’t even necessary, it’s toxic.”

First-string Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake has returned to the team’s line-up ahead of Tuesday’s Concacaf Nation’s League fixture against Mexico at the National Stadium.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper, who has racked up 68 international appearances for Jamaica, pulled out of the team suddenly ahead of last week’s fixture against Suriname.  The goalkeeper also missed the second-leg match between the teams earlier this week. 

The custodian reportedly suffered an undisclosed injury but unconfirmed reports also suggest the issue also stemmed from the team’s issues with former JFF general secretary Dalton Wint, who resigned last week.  Blake’s return to the squad will come at a good time following an injury to stand-in goalkeeper Amal Knight who deputised for Blake for both matches.

Two new players have been added to the 23-man squad ahead of the fixture, with goalkeeper Jahmali Waite and defender Jordan Scarlett joining the team.

Knight and defender Richard King have been ruled out of the match due to injury. 

The Reggae Boyz, who currently lead zone A with 4 points, after two matches, ahead of Suriname on 1.  Mexico are yet to play a match in the group.

Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake continues to be the best paid Caribbean player in the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) according to the 2022 Player Salary Guide.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper, who has twice been named Goalkeeper of the Year, remains the main man in between the sticks for the Philadelphia Union where he has been since 2014.  For his match-saving performances, Blake earns a base salary of $750,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $869,375.00.

Talented Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino is next up.  Having completed a move to Columbus Crew last season Molino is listed at $700,348.00 and guaranteed the full amount.  Unfortunately, the player remains out of action having suffered a serious knee ligament in August of last year.

His international teammate Joevin Jones was also on the move last year and having been signed by new club Inter Miami earns $360,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $458,100.00. 
Jamaica defender Kemar Lawrence is next on the list.  Having recently been traded to Minnesota United this season Lawrence is set to make $400,000.00 with $482,500.00 guaranteed.

The Jamaican trio of Cory Burke, Damion Lowe, and Alvas Powell round out the list earning 400,000, 268,000, and 167,000 at Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami, and FC Cincinnati.

Interim Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall has named a 24-man squad for the final three FIFA World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras.

Jamaica international Andre Blake has finished runner in the voting for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year an award he previously won twice.

Blake finished behind Matt Turner of the New England Revolution who helped the team to its first-ever Supporters’ Shield with a new single-season points record.

Turner secured a total of 43.60 percent of the vote, followed by the Jamaican shot-stopper who claimed 10.43.  Blake has posted another solid season for the Philadelphia Union getting a total of 13 clean sheets and a save success ratio of 76 percent.  Blake previously won the award in 2016 and last year when he finished ahead of Turner.

Turner set a new Revs franchise record with 17 regular season wins, which tied him for the overall MLS lead. The goalkeeper’s 1.25 goals-against average and 74.2 save percentage both ranked in the top-10 among goalkeepers with at least 24 starts, and his two penalty kick saves were the second-most in the league.

The votes are placed by MLS club technical staff, media, and current MLS players.

Reggae Boyz captain Andre Blake has been nominated by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) for their Best Goalkeeper Award, the winner of which will be announced later this month.

Blake, 30, who has had 13 clean sheets for the Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer so far this season and has kept admirably for Jamaica in the ongoing CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, is vying for the award alongside the likes of Liverpool’s Brazilian stopper Alisson Becker, Germany’s Manuel Neuer and England’s Jordan Pickford.

Blake is a two-time MLS Golden Glove winner, the last coming in 2020 when he won the award during the MLS is Back season. He also won the Golden Glove Award at the 2017 Gold Cup tournament when Jamaica advanced to the finals for the first time.

Mexico clinched the start they wanted, opening their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying campaign with a dramatic 2-1 win over Jamaica. 

Henry Martin's 89th-minute strike was the difference at an empty Estadio Azteca, helping El Tri avoid an embarrassing result as they look to secure a spot at Qatar 2022. 

Mexico dominated possession throughout Thursday's fixture and out-shot Jamaica 27-5, but Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake thwarted the hosts until Martin's last-gasp winner. 

A botched clearance by Jamaica in the 50th minute left the ball at Alexis Vega's feet, with multiple Mexico players in an offside position, he held the ball and worked his way toward the middle of the field along the top of the penalty area before sending a right-footed shot past a diving Blake.

Shamar Nicholson equalised 15 minutes later for Jamaica, firing a shot past Guillermo Ochoa after a poor clearance by Jorge Sanchez. 

Martin gave Mexico the three points in the end, collecting a pass from Luis Romo that was redirected by Cesar Montes and firing home just inside the top of the area.

A fully fit Leon Bailey has been included in Jamaica’s 23-man squad named today for the 2021 Gold Cup competition in the United States.

Leon Bailey and Michail Antonio will not be available for the Reggae Boyz matches against Japan and Serbia that have been scheduled for June as Jamaica’s senior squad continues its preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July and the World Cup qualifiers in September.

Reggae Boyz Captain Andre Blake has confirmed that the players have rejected the Jamaica Football Federation’s offer on terms and wages for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and CONCACAF Gold Cup saying that they are willing to boycott all those competitions as they seek respect and fairness from their local football authorities.

“The players are prepared to go all the way,” Blake told Sportsmax.TV today. “They treat us like slaves and we are done being slaves!”

The players had made an initial request of US$7000 per player per match for the World Cup qualifiers set to begin in September. The JFF countered with an offer of US$2000 per match with bonuses of US$1000 for each win and US$500 for a draw. They claim they are unable to afford more.

The players had until last Friday to sign their contracts but sources indicate that the JFF had extended the deadline by a “few days” to give them more time to mull what has been described as a “take it or leave it” offer.

However, on the weekend, the players began to post ‘Take A Stand’ memes on their social media pages, a clear indication that they were not willing to accept the JFF’s offer.

Blake confirmed that to Sportsmax.TV this afternoon.

“The JFF submitted an offer, we countered that offer and they said they weren’t prepared to counter our offer,” Blake said. “We did have a new offer to put to the JFF and they made it clear, so after they did not counter-counter our offer, we reached out to let them know we were going to send in a new offer and they outright let us know that it was almost pointless to send the new offer because they will not entertain it.

“What they have on the table is what it is; you sign it you are eligible for selection, if you don’t then you’re not. So, at this point, yes, I and the players said ‘sorry but we cannot sign that contract, so that’s where we’re at right now.”

Blake said the players have now decided to take a stand because they believe the abuse at the hands of the JFF has been going on for too long. “It’s been generation on top of generation, anybody who has played for Jamaica can attest to this,” he said.

“If we don’t put a stop to this, 20 years later, my kids’ kids or other players’ kids or public members’ kids are going to be playing for the same money and under the same poor organization, structure and poor professionalism and poor communication and Jamaica football will never get better.”

He explained further that the current stance that the players are taking is not just about money.

“It’s more about respect and how the JFF approaches negotiations,” he said referring to the leaked voice note on recent negotiations where JFF officials were heard referring to the players in a disrespectful manner as they tried to negotiate terms for the two-match trip to Saudi Arabia in November 2020.

“The way the JFF goes about business is unacceptable and the players are just at a point where we think we have had enough,” Blake said. “Some things need to change. The JFF can definitely operate in a more professional manner.

“There is just so much more than they make it seem as if players are just in it for the money. They can go ahead and violate negotiations by leaking what they want and keep confidential what they want just to paint a bad picture of the players.”

Asked what he would like to see the JFF do to improve their relationship with the players, Blake said:

“They JFF need to start to put the players first. The JFF is not putting the players in the best possible position to be successful. And when we are not successful using baskets to carry water, everything falls back on the players.

“Travel arrangements are poor, hotel accommodations are poor, communication, poor, organization poor. It’s been going on for a while and we have just had enough. That’s the point where we are at right now and it’s nothing about whether you’re willing to play for free.

“The JFF, they do things backwards. The board should enjoy all the luxury treatment and reap all the benefits while the players go out there and do all the work. It’s slavery and we’re done being slaves for the JFF.”

 Calls to members of the JFF executive went unanswered.

 

Jamaica Reggae Boyz shot-stopper, Andre Blake, believes a lot more can be done by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to secure the funding necessary to meet or at least go close to the wage demands of the national players.

With the time running out for the deadline to sign contractual obligations, the parties remain far apart in terms of wage demands put forward.  The Reggae Boyz have asked for US$7000 ($1,050,895) per player, per match for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.  The JFF has insisted that, due to financial constraints, US$ US$2000 ($300,256) is the highest that they are able to offer.

“I think that there can be a lot more marketing done to get sponsors on board and there are a lot more ways that funds can come in to compensate the players,” Blake told the SportsMax Zone.

“I think that there’s a lot more that can be done.  I don’t think there’s enough being done.  It’s almost like I am asking someone to come and work for me and that person must figure out how they are going to get paid or how I am going to pay them.  Our job is to come and play not to worry about how we are going to get paid.  The JFF has a job and they must do their job," he added.

With a 22-man squad, the players’ current demands could see the federation spend US$2,156,000 ($323,675,752) on wages for the 14-match World Cup qualification round.

 

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