Philadelphia Union player, Andre Blake has officially become a naturalized United States citizen.
Blake who is the captain of the Jamaican National Team, has now become a dual citizen along with his wife and two children.
The Union said, Blake took the U.S Citizenship test in early July, but was sworn in on Monday.
“Becoming a US Citizen is incredible; it’s been my family’s home for the past 12 years. Our youngest was the only US citizen, and to now have all four of us become citizens means so much to us a family, to fully be one unit,” said Blake following his swearing in ceremony.
“On interview day I was nervous even though I was prepared. Today, I came into swear in, and the pressure is off, it’s a celebratory moment where you wait to say your oath, and now it’s official. Having an American passport is a privilege and I’m excited to be able to contribute to this society. I’m proud to be a US citizen, I’m proud to be a Philadelphian and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”, he continued.
Blake is the Union’s longest tenured player, with 231 combined MLS regular season and Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearances since he was drafted from the University of Connecticut in 2014. Earlier this season, Blake passed former teammate, Ray Gaddis, for the most starts in team history and last year, Blake made history when he became the first player in MLS history to win MLS Goalkeeper of the Year three times.
“Andre has been an exemplary athlete and person, both on and off the field,” said Philadelphia Union Head Coach, Jim Curtin.
“He’s a true Philadelphian already and has been for many years, and for him to now have official citizenship is really special for him and his family. His leadership, commitment to his community, and incredible talent make him someone we want in our city and on our field forever. We extend a big congratulations to Andre and we’re lucky to have him.”, Coach Curtin continued.
Blake is also a four-time MLS All-Star and won the 2022 recipient of John Wanamaker Athletic Award, which is presented to the athlete, team, or organization which has done the most to reflect credit upon Philadelphia and the team or sport in which they excel. Blake is the first men’s soccer player to receive the award since it began in 1961.