Philadelphia Union and Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake is up for an ESPY for MLS Player of the Year. Voting started on June 21 and the award will be handed out on July 12 during the ESPYS. Blake is up against Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, FC Dallas center back Matt Hedges, New York City FC forward David Villa, and New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips for the award.
Yes, this is absolutely a popularity contest. Yes, I fully expect David Villa to win. But it’s a great honor for Andre to be recognized as one of Major League Soccer’s top players. It will also get his name out in front of people who would otherwise not know who he is - people who are less tuned in to MLS or soccer in general. It also puts MLS on equal footing with the other top American and Canadian sports leagues, as there are Player of the Year award voting categories for the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, and the WNBA as well.