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USMNT

Kochen could become second American to play for Barcelona first team

Goalkeeper Diego Kochen, who has been called up to the US youth national team, has described his signing by Barcelona U16s last summer "as an honor".

Estados UnidosUpdate:
Kochen could become second American to play for Barcelona first team

In 2016 Diego Kochen joined Barcelona’s summer camp in Florida and after that he took intensive courses at international level in Switzerland, Italy, Romania and Germany. Two years later his parents decided to move to Barcelona for work related reasons and his career took a surprising turn.

Kochen’s story had a happy ending

Kochen was allowed to sign up for the Professional Program until May 2019 in Marcet and he spoke highly of a goalkeeper coach called Rubén Yegba. Finally in the summer of 2021 he was signed by FC Barcelona’s U16s and he hopes he can make his debut with the first team in the near future.

“The truth is that I don’t know where and when the Barça scouts noticed me, but it must have been in one of the games I played with Marcet. What I do know is that I was the last one to find out about Barça’s interest, since my parents didn’t tell me until the end," Kochen during an interview with Marcet High Performance Academy.

"They finally told me at home, right after a training session at Marcet. Obviously I felt great joy. I couldn’t believe it! I was speechless for a few minutes. Being part of the best team in the world is like a dream. It is an honor, but also a great responsibility.

Coming to this club has been an exceptional experience. I really appreciate the support Barça is giving me in all aspects. This is the best thing that has happened in my life,” explains the American goalkeeper.

The 15-year-old will be traveling to Bradenton, Florida to join the US under-17 men’s youth national team training camp under head coach Gonzalo Segares. He will lead his second camp from 18 to 25 January as preparation for the 2023 FIFA U17 World Cup in Peru. Segares called up 24 players from the United States and abroad that were born in 2006 and two in 2007.

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