Local product Alec “AJ” Cochran, signed in December to a Generation Adidas contract by Major League Soccer, will forgo his senior year at Wisconsin to join the Houston Dynamo. He will join Will Bruin, drafted in 2012 out of Indiana and Brad Davis at the Texas club.
HOW ACQUIRED: Selected with the No. 16 pick in the 2014 SuperDraft
WHAT THE COACHES SAY: “The most dominant player in the air this year and one of the strongest I’ve seen around in a little while. He salivates over high balls — they’re his bread and butter … He simplified his game from last year. He’s big, he’s a good athlete, but he’s not blazing fast … He puts himself in good situations. He needs to keep it simple – don’t try to overplay – because he’s good when he keeps things simple and solid and doesn’t overcomplicate the game ..
COLLEGE: Three seasons at Wisconsin … 2013: Big Ten Defender of the Year … Started all 21 of the Badgers’ contests and scored three goals … Helped anchor defense to seven shutouts … 2012: First Team All-Big Ten, starting 19 games (1 goal, 2 assists) … Anchored defense that posted two separate shutout streaks of more than 200 minutes … 2011: As a freshman started in 18 games and posted one goal and three assists.
US NATIONAL TEAM: Invited to camp with the United Staes U-20 national team in January 2012 … Traveled with the United States U-18 national team to Argentina and Chile in 2011.
CLUB: Played PDL in 2013, splitting time between Michigan Bucks and K-W United (Kitchener, ON, Canada) … Played for St. Louis Scott Gallagher … Was named to U.S. Soccer Development Academy select team.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, Mo., the same school as MLS players Brandon Barklage and Tommy Heinemann … Named 2010-11 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year … Helped lead Cadets to 3A state championship as a junior in 2009.
PERSONAL: Full name is Alec John Cochran.
— HoustonDynamo (@HoustonDynamo) January 16, 2014