Jan. 16, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -- One of the most decorated players in University of Wisconsin men’s soccer history, defender AJ Cochran has a new addition to his resume after being selected Thursday afternoon in the 2014 MLS Draft.
Cochran was selected in the first round with the 16th overall pick by the Houston Dynamo, becoming the first Badgers player selected since 2005.
"The coaching staff and I are very excited to see AJ go to the Dynamo organization," UW head coach John Trask said. "I feel that Dom Kinnear and his staff will go great things for AJ and I couldn't be more pleased for him.
"I really think that Houston is the perfect spot for AJ to begin his professional career."
The St. Louis, Mo., native is the first UW player to be chosen in the first round since former NSCAA All-American Mike Gentile was taken ninth overall by the Colorado Rapids in 1996.
A two-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree, Cochran was the first Big Ten player selected in the 2014 MLS Draft.
A Generation adidas signee, Cochran earned 2013 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-Big Ten and first-team NSCAA All-American honors. He also became the first player in Badgers history to be named a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, an award given annually to the nation’s top men's collegiate soccer player by the Missouri Athletic Club.
Cochran started in all 21 matches for the Badgers this season, guiding the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in nearly two decades. Cochran anchored a back line that earned seven shutouts in 2013, while allowing just seven goals in Big Ten play.
The junior tallied six points on three goals in 2013, including a pair of game winners. His most memorable offensive performance came in a 4-3 comeback win over defending NCAA champion Indiana on Oct. 11, when Cochran recorded a pair of goals in the final 17 minutes of action to lead UW to victory in its conference home opener.