Major League Soccer today announced that Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake has been named to the 2016 MLS Best XI squad. It is the third major individual honor for Blake this year after the native of Jamaica was previously named 2016 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year as well as a 2016 MLS All-Star.
In Blake’s first full season as the first choice goalkeeper for Philadelphia, he compiled a stellar campaign that saw him start 32 matches, stop 99 shots and register 10 of the Union’s 11 wins (with six shutouts) while being nominated for the League’s Save of the Week award 12 times.
Blake joined Philadelphia ahead of the 2014 season after being the first and only goalkeeper to ever be selected first overall in the MLS SuperDraft that year. The native of Jamaica recorded six or more saves on five different occasions throughout the 2016 campaign and was named as a 2016 MLS All-Star, where he served as the starter for the MLS squad against English Premier League side Arsenal FC.
Blake has also served as the first choice goalkeeper for his country’s national team, most recently backstopping Jamaica to a shutout victory over Suriname that saw the Reggae Boyz secure qualification for both the 2017 Caribbean Cup and the 2017 Gold Cup.
The goalkeeper becomes the second Philadelphia player to ever be named to the MLS Best XI team, joining Sebastien Le Toux in 2010. He is also the fourth member of the Union to ever capture a year-end MLS award, including the third this season alone. Blake joins Chris Pontius (2016 MLS Comeback Player of the Year), Keegan Rosenberry (2016 MLS Fair Play Award) and Sebastien Le Toux (2010 MLS Best XI, 2010 and 2011 MLS Fair Play Award) as Union players to earn a year-end League honor.
2016 MLS Best XI
Andre Blake, Philadelphia Union
Jelle Van Damme, LA Galaxy
Axel Sjoberg, Colorado Rapids
Matt Hedges, FC Dallas
Ignacio Piatti, Montreal Impact
Sacha Kljestan, New York Red Bulls
Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas
Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC
Giovani dos Santos, LA Galaxy
Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
David Villa, New York City FC