Via UW Soccer – Wisconsin junior defender AJ Cochran was named a third-team preseason All-American by College Soccer News recently.
“It’s an honor and very humbling to be regarded as one of the top players in the country even before the season starts,” Cochran said. “To know that only a certain amount of guys make that list makes me want to work even harder because I know the pressure will be on to perform but heading into preseason it’s all about our team.
“One or two guys won’t help us reach our goals this season and as cool as it is to be named a preseason All-American, I’m fully aware that it’s the team that’s most important in the grand scheme.”
Cochran, a native of St. Louis, Mo.(and the CBC Cadets), will join a Badgers squad that has the luxury of returning 13 seniors heading into the season, which kicks off with an exhibition on Aug. 19 at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
After an impressive debut season which included earning all-tournament team honors at the UIC Soccer Classic and being named a unanimous selection to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team, Cochran returned for his sophomore campaign and was the anchor of a Badgers defense that twice held opponents to scoreless streaks of more than 200 minutes. Cochran’s efforts were rewarded as he became just the eighth UW men’s soccer player ever to garner All-Great Lakes Region honors, while also being named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree.
Cochran has started 37 games for the Cardinal and White and has spent time with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team. In terms of seeing AJ in a game this year, besides visiting Madison, the Badgers schedule has been released and besides the UIC game mentioned above the Badgers return for two more games in the Chicago area September 20 and 22. Otherwise the game at UMKC on August 31st is the closest we’ll see AJ. Oh, and he’ll be joined by Brian Hail and Nick Jones at Wisconsin this year as the two SLSG Academy players also make the trek North.
AJ spent the Summer playing PDL soccer for K-W United FC a 1st year program based in Waterloo, Ontario . They finished their season with a 3-1 win over the Toronto Lynx (AJ’s pictured in the story). He can also be seen about 1:00 min into the video below (blue jersey #27) that features highlights of a game two weeks ago between KW United FC and Sporting Club de Portugal. Hat tip