Indy Eleven has signed experienced midfielder Jack Blake ahead of the 2023 USL Championship season, reuniting him with Head Coach Mark Lowry. | Photo courtesy San Diego Loyal SC
INDIANAPOLIS – Indy Eleven announced on Friday the club had signed midfielder Jack Blake, making the English veteran the club’s first new arrival of the year. The transaction is pending league and federation approval, and per club policy, details of the signing will not be made public.
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,” said Blake. “I am looking forward to meeting the team and the fans and to working with [Eleven Head Coach] Mark [Lowry] once again.”
After arriving in the Championship with the Tampa Bay Rowdies prior 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 the Monarchs 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.
Jack Blake lifts the USL Championship trophy after captaining Real Monarchs SLC to the league title in the 2019 season. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
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 came through 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.