SAN DIEGO – His name is Jack Blake. If you haven’t heard of him before now, you certainly will soon.
The English midfielder is leading San Diego Loyal SC in scoring with four goals. The first of his two goals scored Saturday against Phoenix Rising FC also is up for USL Championship Goal of the Week.
Blake joined the team this past year from the Real Monarchs, hoping to make an immediate impact.
“There’s a lot of superlatives to use for how he’s been playing,” Loyal Manager Landon Donovan said. “We brought him here for a reason and he’s showing what he can do. We’re very happy to have Jack Blake here. He had a great career in Salt Lake and is a guy we’ve been courting for a long time.”
Appearing humble and driven, Blake said he knew it wouldn’t be long for the Loyal to break into the win column after a difficult start to the season.
“We just kind of had to get through that spell where we weren’t playing so well and we weren’t getting the results,” Blake said. “Not much has changed. We’ve just stuck to our same mentality, our same philosophy and I think now once we’re a bit more comfortable with each other, we’ve got a bit more confidence. I think you’re starting to see the rewards of how we play.”
The 26-year-old also credits the fans for allowing both he and his team to play as well as they have.
“They literally have been our 12th man to really push us through,” he said. “Games like Vegas when we’re trailing or we need to get an equalizer or need to get the winner, they really push us on. If it wasn’t for them, we might not have gotten those three points against Vegas and again, L.A. Galaxy. They’re a massive help for us.”
With every goal Blake makes, he shows just how valuable he is to this San Diego team. It’s something he doesn’t take for granted.
“Just my teammates and everyone understanding their individual roles, that makes my role easier,” he said. “Just trust – trusting each other, people trusting me, me trusting other people and I think like I said, once you start getting more comfortable with each other, results and rewards start to come.”