With a new contract extension signed this season, Union goalkeeper Andre Blake is looking forward to getting the 2018 campaign started, but that doesn't come without hard work and commitment to the game both on and off the pitch.
"It's definitely great to be back with the boys," Blake said. "(I'm) looking forward to a great preseason going into the season and right now it's focusing on getting back into shape and starting to work on how we want to play this year."
The Union also announced the hire of new goalkeeper coach, Tim Hanley, who has previously worked with Blake at the 2016 MLS All-Star Game. The two are familiar with each other's style and is an easy adjustment for Blake.
"Tim (Hanley) is a great guy, very experienced on and off the field," Blake said. "I'm looking forward to learning as much from him as I can as the season goes on."
This season, Blake has set a personal and team goal of making it not only to the playoffs, but making a run too. He's confident in the team's ability to train hard and improve their winning record on the road that prevented them from entering the playoffs last season.
In addition, Blake is happy to be back in Philadelphia playing for the Union and being close to his family in Jamaica.
"Philly is a great place, a great team to play for and I'm happy to be here," Blake said. "I'm looking forward to great things for the years to come."
Fans can watch Blake and the Boys in Blue take on New England Revolution at the team's home opener presented by Oliver Heating and Cooling on March 3, with kickoff for the match set to 7:00 p.m. Tickets can be found here.