Versatile Veteran & 2019 USL Championship Title Winner Reunites with Head Coach Mark Lowry in the Circle City
Indy Eleven made a big impression with today’s first new signing of the 2023 calendar year in veteran midfielder Jack Blake. Per club policy, details of the contract that cements the Englishman in the Circle City for 2023 will not be released and remains pending league and federation approval.
The 28-year-old native of Nottingham, England, joins Indiana’s Team after contributing 22 goals and 17 assists across 117 combined regular season and playoff appearances in five seasons of USL Championship action since 2018. Blake spent the past two seasons with San Diego Loyal SC, scoring eight goals and adding 10 assists – including a career-high six helpers in 2022 – in 52 appearances for then-Head Coach Landon Donovan’s side.
“I am very excited for a new adventure and chapter in my career,” stated Blake. “I am looking forward to meeting the team and the fans and to working with [Eleven Head Coach] Mark [Lowry] once again.”
After joining the ranks of the Championship with the Tampa Bay Rowdies leading up to the 2018 season, that June Blake went on loan to Real Monarchs SLC in a move that jumpstarted his status as a full-time starter in the league. His two-and-a-half year stay with Real included a standout 11-goal campaign in 2019 that also featured three tallies in postseason play and an equalizing assist in the Monarchs’ 3-1 victory at Louisville City FC in the USL Championship Final.
Prior to his time in the Championship, Blake spent two seasons acclimating to soccer stateside – including getting a glimpse of Indy Eleven – in the North American Soccer League, starting with an 11-game stint with Minnesota United in 2016. Blake headed south for the 2017 season with Jacksonville Armada FC, where he bagged nine goals and added three assists in 27 games under the guidance of Lowry on the sideline.
“Jack is obviously a player I have known for a long time and have coached in the past in the NASL, where he won Young Player of the Year for the league [in 2017]. He has continued his trajectory and, over the past few years, has become one of the best all-around midfielders in the USL,” said Lowry. “Not many players can match him for his consistent quality and the intensity and desire he brings to each game. At only 28 he has his best years ahead of him and can reach even bigger heights as a player. Jack is a first-class addition and continues the great work we have done this off season to build this roster to the level we want it to be.”
Blake was reared in the youth development systems of Notts County and Nottingham Forest before joining the Academy set-up of the latter. He made his professional debut whilst on loan to League Two side Mansfield Town in late 2013, which fell in between stints with Forest’s reserve side from 2013-15. Through his grandfather’s lineage Blake was eligible to represent Scotland in international play, and he earned five “caps” with the country’s Under-19 side from 2011-12.
Today’s news continues announcements in the coming weeks that will build the foundation of the 2023 roster for Indiana’s Team heading into February’s official preseason camp. The roster as it currently stands is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Yannik Oettl, Tim Trilk
Defenders: Younes Boudadi, A.J. Cochran, Robby Dambrot, Mechack Jerome, Gustavo Rissi, Ecris Revolorio, Jesus Vazquez
Midfielders: Jack Blake, Cam Lindley, Bryam Rebellon, Diego Sanchez, Alann Torres
Forwards: Solomon Asante, Jonas Fjeldberg, Sebastian Guenzatti, Juan Tejada