17 Questions with Josh Cohen


With the official start of the 2024 season just around the corner, the Atlanta United faithful have plenty to look forward to. A thing to keep an eye on is the new faces on the roster; one of which being goalkeeper Josh Cohen. Signed through 2025 with an option for 2026, the American keeper began his professional career in the USL Championship. 

His time as a keeper in the Israeli Premiere League from 2019 to 2023 makes his career path unique, while his three consecutive league titles shows his prowess on the pitch.

We sat down with Cohen and asked him 17 questions so that our 17s could get to know him better.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

In three words, I would say: a thinker, puts in effort, and a little neurotic.

Pre-game music choices?

Probably more rock, something a bit more aggressive then Eminem's "Lose Yourself" to hype up.

Favorite rock band?

Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Tell me about where you are from, and what does it mean to you?

I am from Sunnyvale, California. It is nestled right between San Jose and San Francisco; heart of Silicon Valley, lots of tech companies. I lived there till I left for college, so for me it just feels like home. It feels like somewhere I am familiar with. It is very techy. Apple's world headquarters is actually about eight minutes from my childhood home. The atmosphere there, and the conversations you have with people is different from what you get in a lot of places around the world.

Who is one person you wish you could fly to Atlanta to see you play this season?

My grandpa. Over the past few years he has not been able to see me play, and he really enjoys it.

First soccer memory?

First soccer memory was the Napa Valley Classic. Grape Vine Tournament was the nickname or something. I was maybe seven or eight years old; we won in penalties, so I remember that.

When you were a kid and you were playing at that time, what made you fall in love with it?

I think it was a combination of a couple of things. One was that it was something where all my friends did it. So I had a community of friends built around the game. The other thing was that it was something where I was pretty good at it, and it was an avenue where I got direct results. Meaning what I put into it, I felt like I could get out of it. I could see my growth pretty immediately within the game.

Tell me a little about your family, and your family's connection with the game?

Growing up, my family had no connections to the game. Both my parents work in the tech sector, hence where I grew up. They got me into soccer because that was just kind of the thing to do. I took classes at the local rec center, and then slowly some coaches pointed them in the right direction. And they've really grown to love soccer, kind of in parallel with my growth. So their journey to soccer has been through me and my experiences. But now my dad referees a ton and that is his cardio fitness.

Write your own scouting report. How would you describe your playing style?

I would say my playing style is that I try to stay connected to the team as much as I can. Both defensively, obviously as a keeper, but also offensively. Trying to support in ways where I put myself in good positions so everyone can advance up the field. Individually, I have always been pretty quick. I have never been the biggest person, especially for a keeper. So I rely on my quickness quite a bit.

Before a game, do you have rituals or superstitions?

I don't have any rituals per se. But I do try to eat well. Also be calm, more mentally than physically. My routines are not superstitious routines, but routines for consistency. The way I tape my hands or the order I do things, because I like the consistency of it. I feel like that helps put me in the right mental state before a game.

What would you be doing if you were not playing soccer professionally?

I would be a mechanical engineer. 100 percent.

Favorite goalkeeper when you were a kid?

Peter Schmeichel. My favorite team growing up was Manchester United. Growing up, I had a coach that made me more aware of him. He gave me his biography and told me to read it.

Favorite non soccer athlete?

Probably Kobe Bryant. You hear the stories about his work ethic and his mentality. A lot of times, as an athlete, you can't replicate the physical side of a lot of other people, but you can do your best to replicate the mental side.

Best advice that you have ever received?

Enjoy it. Don't take yourself too seriously.

Favorite moment of your career so far?

Winning that first championship I won in Haifa. The older you get, the higher level you get, the rarer it is to win anything at all. And it had been a while since I had won anything. My team did not win anything throughout college. In semi-pro, we won our division, but it does not feel quite the same when you lose in the playoffs. It was a big final victory to end the season. There was a drought for the city and the team for about 10 years. So that was pretty amazing.

When Atlanta United came calling, what was it about the club that made you want to come here?

First thing, massive club and massive following. You see what the stadium looks like with all the fans and the atmosphere. And then, on the business and operations side, they really want to win. They put the resources in place to give the players every opportunity to win, to be a championship team, and to compete every year. That is the environment I want be in.

What do you want the 17s to know about you?

I want you to know that I am going to do everything in my power to win us games, and bring another championship here.

Photos: Meet some of the new faces of Atlanta United
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