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Blake Gets Better of Larin in Gold Cup Quarterfinals

Blake was named Man of the Match for his performance (photo by John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports).
July 21, 2017

STORRS, Conn. – Former UConn men’s soccer teammates met in the Gold Cup quarterfinals on Thursday night, as it was Andre Blake’s miraculous saves that earned Jamaica a trip to the semifinals with a 2-1 win over Cyle Larin’s Canadian team.

Blake was named Man of the Match for his athletic saves, including one where he sprung up to his left and reached his arm at full-extension to knock away a shot attempt that would have tied the game at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.  

Leading 2-0 in the second half, Canada scored in the 61st minute to cut the deficit in half – and despite having numerous attacks down the stretch, Blake (May Pen, Jamaica) stood firm between the posts.

Larin (Brampton, Ontario) and his teammates fired 19 shots at Blake (five on goal), compared to just eight shots for Jamaica. However, UConn’s three-time Conference Goalkeeper of the Year turned away Canada’s attempt at a comeback.

With the victory, Jamaica will now play Mexico in the Gold Cup semifinals on Sunday night at 9 p.m. (ET) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. In the other semifinal, the United States will play Costa Rica on Saturday at 10 p.m. (ET) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Blake and Larin have enjoyed successful careers since leaving UConn, as each was selected as the top overall pick in their respective MLS Draft. Blake, a goalkeeper for the Philadelphia Union, was picked first in 2014, while Larin was selected first by Orlando City in 2015.

Each won numerous awards as a Husky, with Blake earning three All-American selections – including two First Team nods – and Larin being named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore.

When Blake and Larin were teammates in the 2013 season, the Huskies went 12-3-8 (4-0-4 American) and reached the NCAA quarterfinals by knocking-off top-seeded UCLA in penalty kicks.