UConn goalkeeper Andre Blake has been selected No. 1 overall by the Philadelphia Union in the MLS SuperDraft, becoming the second UConn player and first goalkeeper ever to be selected first overall.
In addition, forward Mamadou Diouf has been selected No. 30 overall by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second round of the draft. Diouf had been projected as a mid first round pick, but an injury suffered earlier this season evidently gave many teams pause on the talented goal scorer.
The Union were originally slated to pick No. 2 but traded up to select Blake, swapping picks with DC United. The Union reportedly gave up an undisclosed sum of cash to acquire the pick, and their eagerness to select Blake would suggest that he will likely be the team's starter going forward.
Blake has been one of the nation's top keepers in each of his three seasons at UConn, earning conference Goalkeeper of the Year honors each year. He has been a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American three times and named to the all-conference First Team every season. His 36 career shutouts rank third all-time in program history, while his 46 wins are the fourth most by a UConn goalkeeper.
This past season Blake allowed just 15 goals in 20 matches. He had a 0.75 goals against average and recorded 10 shutouts on the year. In the NCAA Tournament, Blake helped UConn overcome its penalty shootout bugaboo by coming up huge against UMBC and No. 1 UCLA to lead the Huskies to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third straight season.
Prior to Blake's selection, the only other UConn soccer player to be drafted No. 1 overall in the MLS SuperDraft was Chris Gbandi, who was selected first overall by FC Dallas (then known as the Dallas Burn) 2002.
More to come.