July 18, 2013
MADISON, Wis. - As the 2013 season approaches, the anticipation of beginning the season continues to build for the Wisconsin men's soccer team.
That anxiousness was increased on Thursday, as junior defender AJ Cochran was named a third-team preseason All-American by College Soccer News.
"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., 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.