The Gold Cup standout left the final with what looked to be a serious injury, but later revealed he only suffered a cut on his hand
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Andre Blake went up onstage after the Gold Cup final to receive a golden trophy, only it wasn’t the one he would have hoped for. The Jamaican goalkeeper, who saw his Gold Cup final cut short by injury, received his Golden Glove award as the tournament’s best goalkeeper while sporting a bandage on his right hand, comforted by the knowledge that things could have been much worse.
Forced out of the final in the first half after being kicked in the hand by U.S. midfielder Kellyn Acosta as both made a place for a loose ball, Blake looked like he might have suffered a serious injury involving a potentially broken hand or wrist. But X-rays taken at Levi’s Stadium revealed no broken bones, much to the relief of Blake’s club team, the Philadelphia Union.
“I’ve got a cut between my middle finger and my index finger,” Blake said after the U.S. team’s 2-1 victory over Jamaica. “I got seven stitches so that’s what it is for right now, so hopefully I can get back pretty soon.”
Blake entered Wednesday’s final as one of the best performers in the 2017 Gold Cup, and he was already on his way to another good showing, as he denied a hard shot from Jozy Altidore before suffering the injury after attempting to slap the rebound away as Acosta raced in to try and bundle it home.
“I wasn’t sure what it was,” Blake said of the injury. “I just knew I got hit so I took off my glove and saw it was a pretty bad cut, so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to continue, but that happens sometimes.”
Blake sounded optimistic about being able to return from the injury in a relatively short amount of time.
“The stitches are going to be out in 10 days, so from there on in it’s going to be a day-by-day situation to see how it feels,” Blake said. “It was pretty painful, but it’s soccer.”
Though Blake and Jamaica fell short of becoming the first Caribbean team to win the Gold Cup, they still played an outstanding tournament, and gave Jamaican fans reason to feel optimism about the program’s future.
“It’s definitely great for us, we’re starting to realize more and more that we have the talent,” Blake said. “We just have to keep this group of guys together and improve in a few different spots and keep going forward.”