After a shutout performance on the road against a squad battling for its postseason life, Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake has earned a place on Major League Soccer’s Team of the Week for Week 32.
The two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year not only reminded everyone that he is the top shot stopper in the league but put on a highlight reel of saves to make media and fans wonder if he is the MVP of the league with five big saves to lead in a scoreless draw at Atlanta United FC on Saturday.
With halftime looming, Atlanta sought one more creative attack against the leader’s best defensive side as Araújo found space with nifty footwork to get some space out wide. Seeing that the forward was looking pick out a late run into the box at the far post, Blake was perfectly positioned to cut out the chance. With a shutout in the first half, the Union defense turned in another Best XI moment in the 50th minute with all out performances from Blake and center back Jakob Glesnes. After forcing a turnover at the center line, Araújo raced up the flank and picked out a pass into the path of Brooks Lennon. One on one against Blake, the wing back rushed a shot as Jack Elliott pressured him but the Jamaican keeper made the diving stop to his right. The rebound fell directly into the path for Dwyer on the counter attack run but his tap in effort was turned away with a sliding stop by Glesnes. Frustrated once, the ATL forward was left wondering how he didn’t score as the second rebound in his path was tapped by the Union defender to Blake down on the turf to end the play.
Like he did in 2021 during the road leg of the Concacaf Champions League contest against Atlanta, Andre Blake was called upon to make another key save for the Union and delivered. Once more it was Mosquera getting inside but unlike his first attempt, he was ready to fire quickly only to be denied by the best keeper in the league.
Perhaps the biggest save came in second half stoppage time as Atlanta found its all-time leading goalscorer at the door step but Blake was there for the reaction stop to keep Josef Martinez from unlocking the tied scoreline.