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UConn's Blake top pick in MLS draft

Published January 17. 2014 4:00AM

UConn junior goalkeeper Andre Blake became the first-ever goalie to be taken with the top pick in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft when he was selected by the Philadelphia Union Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia. Blake joined Chris Gbandi (Dallas, 2002) as the only other Husky to be taken No. 1 overall.

Senior Mamadou Diouf followed Blake when he was selected 30th overall by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second round. UConn now boasts 31 overall MLS Draft picks, including 10 first-round choices.

Blake was widely viewed as one of the most exciting prospects in the years' draft. The keeper has had a tremendous career in a Husky uniform, earning 36 shutouts in his three years as a starter. Blake was twice named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year and capped off his impressive run as the American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year in 2013.

"Andre's selection today has verified what we have thought for some time," said 17th-year head coach Ray Reid. "He is a big time goalkeeper and will have a great professional career."

Blake's 36 career shutouts rank third all-time in program history, while his 46 wins are the fourth most by a Connecticut goalkeeper. In 2013, the keeper amassed a 0.75 goals against average and helped lead the Huskies to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal match. He was named an NSCAA First Team All-American for the second consecutive season after being tabbed a Third Team All-American following his freshman campaign in 2011.

Diouf departs Storrs as one of the most prolific scorers in recent history, tallying 36 total goals, which ranks eighth in Husky history. The Dakar, Senegal native recorded a career-high five assists in 2013 and added two goals.

- Day staff reports

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