In the coming weeks, The Brace Phoenix will present brief profiles about the people that make up Phoenix Rising FC.
Today we start with Josh Cohen, the goalkeeper most recently featured by the team in the US Open Cup’s Third Round match held on May 31st, 2017.
Last December (2016), Phoenix Rising FC announced the signing of Josh Cohen, which meant taking him from Orange County Soccer Club and, more generally, from his home state of California where he played for most of his soccer career.
Cohen, of Sunnyvale, CA, played his college years at UC San Diego. We looked all the way back to the team’s 2010 media guide to get a sense of what Cohen was about as a freshman. We learned that as a senior in high school, at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, he helped the squad to a 13-8-3 season, his favorite professional teams included Manchester United and West Ham, he aspired to work in the biomedical field, and he enjoyed rock climbing in his free time (the profiles were written in dating app format, lol, sorry Josh). Anyway, at UC San Diego, Cohen did not disappoint, he played in 51 matches, made 160 saves, and ended up with an overall save success rate of 84.7%. More specifically, in 2012, Cohen was the NCAA Division II leader in goals-against average (0.400) and save percentage (89.8%) and in 2013 he was also chosen as part of the NSCAA NCAA All-American team. For more information about his college years click here.
Before playing professionally, Cohen had a few experiences with professional teams. When he was 15 years old he spent about three months in Brazil with the youth academy at Grêmio Foot-Ball Port Alegrense, a team that finished mid-table in 2016 in the Brasileiro Serie A League (the premier league in Brazil). There, according to a 2013 interview with UC San Diego, he lived in a “10 x 10-foot room with five other players and trained for three to five hours or more every day.”
In early 2014, Cohen was invited for a weeklong trial with the MLS side the Philadelphia Union. Soon after, he spoke with Rachel Uda of the UCSD Guardian about the experience saying, “The level of play was so high… Everything was a lot faster…” and “It was such a good experience for me. Now I know that I can play with those at that level and learned what it is that I need to work on and what things I can do to improve going forward.”
In 2015, Cohen played for the Burlingame Dragons of the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the men’s top-tier amateur soccer league in the US. With the Burlingame Dragons, which is the PDL affiliate of MLS side the San Jose Earthquakes, Cohen played 11 games (with a 8-1-2 record), 7 of which were shutouts, and had a 0.636 goals against average.
Cohen quickly moved into the USL, signing his first professional contract with the Orange County Soccer Club (previously named the Orange County Blues FC) which is now the USL affiliate of the MLS side the Los Angeles FC. With the Orange County Soccer Club, Cohen ended the 2016 season with a save percentage of 74% and would later be lauded in an article by Phoenix Rising as a “playoff hero” for impressively stopping a PK, which allowed Orange County SC to advance in the 2016 USL Playoffs. If he plays, Josh Cohen will go up against his old team during Phoenix Rising’s away game on August 18th and then again at home on September 6th.
So far with Phoenix Rising FC, Cohen’s stats include 8 games played, a 64.1 % save success rate and 57.3% pass success rate. For more stats on Josh Cohen go to http://www.uslsoccer.com/josh-cohen.
Thanks for reading and please comment below with questions, more info about Josh, and/or any other thoughts you may have. Also, please check back soon to learn about the other people that make up the Phoenix Rising Football Club.
“Josh Cohen.” 2010 UC San Diego Men’s Soccer Media Guide 31 Aug. 2010: 21. Web (PDF). 08 June 2017.
Communications, Phoenix Rising FC. “Phoenix Rising Football Club Adds Former OC Blues Goalkeeper Josh Cohen.” Phoenix Rising FC | Arizona’s Highest Level Professional Soccer Team. N.p., 21 Dec. 2016. Web. 08 June 2017.
Staff, USLSoccer.com. “Playoff Hero Cohen Headed to Phoenix.” United Soccer League. N.p., 21 Dec. 2016. Web. 08 June 2017. <http://www.phxrisingfc.com/news_article/show/736968?referrer_id=2717359>.
UCSD. “Q&A With Senior Goalkeeper Josh Cohen.” Ucsdtritons.com. N.p., 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 June 2017.
Uda, Rachel. “Goalkeeper Cohen Gets MLS Trial.” UCSD Guardian. N.p., 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 08 June 2017. <http://ucsdguardian.org/2014/02/13/goalkeeper-cohen-gets-mls-trial/>.