There is a saying in life ‘Save The Best Till Last’ and that certainly was the case for LA Galaxy new boy Greg Cochrane. During the 2013 MLS SuperDraft the versatile Louisville product was picked up in the last pick of the draft by none other than MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy. I caught up with the man himself soon after to talk about his MLS Combine experience as well as his hopes and desires for the future. EXCLUSIVE FOR www.soccernightexclusive.wordpress.com

50f5fdb70386c_imageFirst and foremost for the readers who are unfamiliar with you, how would you describe your playing style ?

I am a versatile player than can play both left back and left mid. I like to attack a lot on the overlap from the outside back positions, but I know my responsibility of being a defender first. I like to play both sides of the ball. My fitness allows me to get up and down the line all game.

What age did you start and how did you first get into playing soccer ?

I started playing on my first team when I was four years old. I got into soccer because my dad played collegiately at NC State. He put a ball at my feet right when I was able to walk.

Has it always been your personal goal to make it as a professional soccer player ?

Yes, ever since I was a little kid I have always said that I was going to be a professional soccer player when I grew up.

During your growing up stages as a soccer player who would you say has been your biggest inspiration and why ?

My biggest inspiration would have to be my parents and my brother. It was not always smooth sailing with my youth soccer career. My coach always said I was “too short” and I would be cemented on the bench. My parents told me to just keep working hard and keep doing all the little stuff to work on your game and eventually it will all work out. As for my brother, he is a year older than me and he always pushed me. We would always play together and if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Cochrane During the CombineThe MLS Combine can make or break a players ambition to play professionally in MLS, How did you feel your combine events went ?

I thought the combine went real well. I enjoyed the experience, getting to play with and against the top players from the college ranks.

With so many coaches watching it must have been a daunting experience to push aside the nerves, what would you say is key to showcasing your talent at events such as this ?

The main thing is just to be you. You can’t get caught up with the nerves and looking over at the coaches. If you are worried about that, you are not focused on the game and you won’t play well. Mistakes are going to happen in games, you just have to have a short-term memory. But the main thing when I was out there was to just have fun. When you are having fun, you are going to play more freely and show better.

LA Galaxy picked you in the SuperDraft, but was it only the current MLS Champions who shown an interest in your services during the MLS Combine ?

To be honest, I had no idea that the LA Galaxy were interested in me until I heard my name called in the draft. Down at the combine I met with a bunch of other teams for interviews, but not the Galaxy. But I am extremely happy to be drafted by an organization like the Galaxy.

superdraft_2013During the SuperDraft in Indianapolis you was left to the very end to be picked, did you ever think your name was going to be read out at the draft ?

While watching the SuperDraft, there are a ton of emotions, excitement, nervousness, etc. When it was getting down to the last few picks, you just hope that your name is one of the ones called. Luckily for me, it was.

What emotions did you feel when you found out Bruce Arena and the Galaxy team put their faith in you ?

It was a great feeling. Words cannot describe how I felt at that moment. But I know there is still a lot of work ahead of me, and I am ready for the challenge.

imagesFellow former Louisville teammate Andrew Farrell was the first overall pick in the 2013 SuperDraft, what do you feel he can offer not just the New England Revolution, but the MLS as a whole ?

Andrew is a great player, and an even better person. Athletically, there are not many people that are on his level. Couple that with his soccer skills, and it shows why he was the number 1 pick. Andrew is a very versatile player, being able to play centre back, right back, or holding mid equally as well. He is a team player and will do whatever the coach says.

During your time alongside Farrell at the Cardinals, was it always a certainty that he was going to become a MLS player ?

Yes.

LA_GALAXY_16x9Making the move to a new club is a hard task to take light heartedly, what are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to making the jump to the pro level and learning as much as I can. Especially when you have a Coach like Bruce Arena, and all of the great players on the Galaxy squad, I feel like I can learn so much by not only playing with them, but just watching them and seeing what they do to better myself as a professional.

What will you miss most from your home in Holland PA and Louisville ?

My home is Holland, Pa. I just went to school at Louisville. But what I will miss most is all of my teammates. We were all like brothers. We loved hanging out with each other and loved playing together. It was just a great time.

Some LA fans might be a little unknown to you, what can they expect from Greg Cochrane during your time at the MLS Champions ?

They can expect a player that is going to work hard every single day. I am a guy that loves to compete and I hate to lose. From the first minute until the final whistle blows, I will give 100% effort. On the field I hope to keep goals out of the net since I am a defender while also aiding in the attack with my services.

LA Galaxy are renowned for their big name signings and  despite Beckham leaving, Robbie Keane still remains after signing a new contract. What are your feelings towards working with players of such ilk and experience ?

I can’t wait to just learn from them and be a sponge, taking in everything that they tell me. They have had great careers and are the best people to learn from.

Bruce+Arena+2012+MLS+Cup+Houston+Dynamo+v+ZoJQcVA8oD_lTodd Dunivant is currently occupying the left back spot, will you be looking to learn from Todd and the rest of the LA Galaxy backline ?

Yes, I can’t wait to learn from Todd and the rest of the backline. Todd is a seasoned veteran at the left back spot, so there is no one better to learn from than him.

Heading into the 2013 season LA are looking to make it a hat trick of MLS Cups. What are you looking to achieve this season ?

I am looking to help the team in anyway possible. Whatever role Coach Arena wants me to play I will play. For personal goals, I am looking to get onto the field and get First Team minutes to contribute to the team.

During the combine you was put in a variety of positions which showed your versatility. Do you think being versatile can help you going forward as a player in MLS ?

Yes, I think being versatile is a very good thing. For one, it gives you a better opportunity to get on the field because you can play more than one position.

8092505You have played Right Full Back, Left Wing and Left Full Back, what would say is your preferred and strongest position ?

I think my strongest position (and preferred) is left back. I like the challenges of 1v1 defending, and I like overlapping and adding into the attack. Being left footed, I preferred to play on the left side.

Bruce Arena has been arguably the best coach in US Soccer for a number of years now, how much are you looking forward to working with him ?

I am really looking forward to learning from Coach Arena. He has a boat load of knowledge and I look forward to working with him to further help my game.

Louisville-LogoWho currently in the Louisville Cardinals ranks do you feel we will be seeing in the MLS in years to come ?

Louisville has proved over the past few years to be a pipeline to MLS. I would say just watch them play, because there are a lot more to follow.

Last season you chalked up 6 goals and 3 assists in 21 games, what would you say your highlights were during your 2012 season ?

Winning the Big East Red Division Title would probably be the top highlight. We also made it to the Elite 8 for the second straight year, which was a good accomplishment. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it back to the Final four.

Where would you like to see your career in five years time ?

In five years’ time I would like to see myself as an established professional. My two main goals are to be on the National Team and to be playing in Europe. Those have been two goals I have wanted to reach my whole life, and I think in five years they are achievable if I keep putting in the work day in and day out.

What advice would you give to youngsters looking to follow in your footsteps ?

The main thing is to not letting anybody tell you that you cannot do something. There are going to be people out there doubting you, but you have to believe in yourself. Do not let the highs get you too high or the lows get you too low. Just keep working hard and good things will follow. It is a process. You will not see changes overnight, but you will overtime if you are consistent with what you are doing.

Picture_6Favourite Game You’ve Played In

Season opener verse UCLA my junior year. There were about 10k people there.

Favourite Goal Scored

Second Round of the NCAA tournament verse Winthrop. I scored 40 seconds into the game.

Best Player Played Alongside

No Comment

Best Player Played Against

No Comment

Favourite Stadium Played

University of Maryland or Charleston Battery’s stadium.  

Pre – Match Superstitions (If Any)

I eat a handful of Swedish fish

Team Supported Growing Up

Aston Villa Football Club

Favourite Food

Steak

Favourite Drink

Gatorade

Favourite Holiday Destination

St. Pete Beach, Florida

Favourite Song

Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show

First Car

2006 Mazda 6

Hobbies And Interests Outside Of Soccer

Music and College Sports

What would you do if you won $1 Million

I would invest it

Andrew Farrell (GA, Louisville) (left) and Greg Cochrane (Louisville) (right)I would like to take this opportunity to thank Greg for his time and efforts during the interview process and I wish him the best of luck at LA Galaxy.

@soccernightexcl

@maplesoccer123

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