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Nerwinski, Vancouver FC Advance Past Knockout Round

Nerwinski has been a rookie star for Vancouver FC (PC: Bob Frid/Vancouver FC).
Oct. 26, 2017


STORRS, Conn. -
Jake Nerwinski, former UConn men's soccer standout and 2017 Major League Soccer first-round pick, helped Vancouver Whitecaps FC advance to the Western Conference Semifinal after a 5-0 win over San Jose on Wednesday night.

Nerwinski played all 90 minutes in the Knockout Round contest - Vancouver's first playoff win since the club joined the MLS in 2010 - and helped keep the shutout intact at BC Place.

A two-time selection on the American Athletic Conference First Team at UConn, Nerwinski has enjoyed a strong rookie campaign for Vancouver - the club that drafted him seventh-overall in the 2017 MLS Super Draft.

Following Wednesday's playoff game, Nerwinski has played in 19 matches and logged over 1700 minutes of playing time this season. He recorded five assists - second among all MLS rookies - and was named a three-time Whitecaps FC Man of the Match.

Nerwinski was twice selected to the MLS Team of the Week and earned Whitecaps FC Player of the Month honors back in July. For his accomplishments, Nerwinski has been nominated for AT&T Rookie of the Year - joining a ballot of 17 other players. Finalists (3) will be announced for the award on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

During his time at UConn, Nerwinski served as co-captain in his final two seasons. He scored five goals and racked up 17 assists (27 points) for the Huskies, including three nods to the All-American Athletic Conference Team.

The Huskies reached the NCAA quarterfinals in Nerwinski's freshman season in 2013 and won the AAC regular season title in 2014.

Vancouver, the third-seed in the Western Conference, will host the first leg of the semifinals against second-seed Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. (ET). The match will be aired on ESPN.

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

Larin started 24 of 28 games this season for Orlando City SC, scoring a team-high 12 goals, including five game-winners. He added three assists and a team-best 32 shots on goal in his 2,169 minutes on the field. Orlando City SC finished the season with a 10-15-9 record. Larin played for Canada in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup this past summer, helping his team reach the quarterfinals.

Andre Blake, Philadelphia Union

Blake started 26 games for the Union in his fourth season in the MLS, recording a 70.4 save percentage and 88 saves. His nine shutouts were tied for third-most in the league, while allowing just 1.31 goals per game. Philadelphia finished with an 11-14-9 record. Blake competed for Jamaica in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, reaching the final against the United States.