Maccabi Haifa goalkeeper Josh Cohen may not be on Gregg Berhalter’s radar, but the California kid probably should be.
Cohen’s journey to soccer’s second-biggest stage is a long and winding one that’s truly inspiring for American youth hoping to make it big one day.
Here’s Cohen on living his UCL dream, as told to The Athletic:
“Coming from playing D-II college soccer all the way up through USL and now here, I think it makes me appreciate it a little bit more. This is far and away the highest level I’ve played at, and the experience of it all is also the most grandiose that I’ve experienced. It definitely feels that way in the moment, from sitting with the team watching the draw for these games. Each new experience that’s related to the UCL feels like something special that I’ve never experienced before within soccer.”
Yesterday, Cohen showed how far he’s come from D-II ball.
Underdogs Maccabi Haifa defeated Weston McKennie’s Juventus 2-0 in a huge upset yesterday marking the severity of Juve’s downfall. But this isn’t about how bad Juventus is playing – this is about how excellent Cohen is playing. The American recorded his first Champions League clean sheet with saves like the one above against one of the historically best teams in Europe.
(McKennie almost got a goal off Cohen here – but it just wasn’t Weston’s day.)
While Mckennie took the day off, Gio Reyna returned from injury with Dortmund.
Gio Reyna is still only 19 years old, people. He’s insanely good, but he just keeps getting injured!!! Knowing his injury history, watching Reyna is a strange blend of awe and fear for USMNT fans. But if the teenager can stay healthy, he’ll end up on the Mount Rushmore of American soccer.
In other news…
USMNT and Celtic center back Cameron Carter-Vickers became the first American to captain their club during a Champions League game yesterday. It’s a huge step for Carter-Vickers and the USMNT as a whole, even if Celtic lost 2-0 to RB Leipzig.
Featured Image: DALL-E 2/USSoccerFederation/UEFAChampionsLeague/DM