Aug. 3, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – With the official start to the season less than a week away, student-athletes from the University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team have been busy with different club teams this summer.
AJ Cochran was one-of-18 selected to participate with the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland on July 21-26. The U.S. lost its opening game to Denmark, 1-0, on July 21, but then defeated Turkey, 1-0, on July 23 to advance to the third-place game. The U.S. lost in the third-place game to Chile, 4-3, on July 26 to take fourth place at the Milk Cup.
Cochran, along with UW teammates Chris Prince, Drew Conner and Trevor Wheeler played for the Chicago Fire PDL team in the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League earlier in the summer. The Fire advanced to the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the second straight year and placed fourth in the Great Lakes Division in the PDL.
Additionally, the Chicago Fire's U-20 men’s team had a terrific season in the USL Super-20 League, as three Badgers helped the team win the league championship. Prince, Wheeler and Jacob Brindle combined for 10 goals and three assists at the 2012 Super-20 Championships. Prince scored the third goal of the game as the Fire defeated Crew Juniors, 3-1, for the league title.
Paul Yonga and Nick Janus have been playing with Chicago-based Bridges FC this summer. Each year, Bridges FC travels Europe playing the reserve teams of professional soccer clubs. Through seven games the team has posted a record of 4-1-2. The competition Bridges FC has faced so far includes: sc Heerenveen (Eredivisie, Netherlands), Vitesse Arnhem (Eredivisie, Netherlands), FC Utrecht (Eredivisie, Netherlands), HB Køge (First Division, Denmark), and Brøndby FC (Superliga, Denmark).
Closer to home, five Badgers played with the Madison 56’ers. Max Jentsch, Carl Schneider, Jerry Maddi, Ryan Buda and Derek Pitts helped the 56’ers to both Central Conference and Midwest Region championships en route to a third-place finish at the National Premier Soccer League Championships.
After losing to FC Sonic, the eventual national champions, the 56’ers defeated the Bay Area Ambassadors, 3-2, on July 28 in San Diego to claim third place. Derek Pitts scored the opening goal of the game, while Jentsch made four saves.
On the way to the NPSL Championships, Pitts scored one goal against the Milwaukee Bavarians in the Central Division championship game and recorded one assist against AFC Cleveland in the Midwest Region championship game.
The men’s soccer team officially starts practice on Aug. 7, and will play in its first exhibition match against Louisville, Aug. 17, in Ft. Wayne, Ind. The Badgers home opener is Sept. 7 when they host Florida International at 7 p.m. at the McClimon Complex.