U.S. U-17 Goalkeeper Kochen Makes Historic Barcelona Debut in Friendly Match on American Soil

Diego Kochen achieved another significant accomplishment in his quick ascent at Barcelona as he debuted for the first squad in a friendly match against Club América on Thursday evening.

The 17-year-old goalkeeper has become a standout player in Barça’s academy, positioning himself as a possible future starter for the Blaugrana and the U.S. men’s national team.

Kochen has been selected as a substitute for many first-team Barcelona matches this season and was included in the team’s 27-man squad for the Champions League group stage.

On Thursday, the young person was substituted during the second half of the casual match at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The game was tied at 2-2 when Kochen came on in the 62nd minute, and Henry Martín later scored the winning goal in the 82nd minute, leading the Liga MX champions to a 3-2 victory.

Kochen was born in Florida and joined Barcelona’s development system in July 2019, signing his initial professional contract with the club three years later.

The adolescent was selected as a nominee for the 2022 U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year after participating in five out of the U.S. U-17 side’s eight matches throughout the year.

This year, Kochen had to withdraw from the CONCACAF U-17 Championship and the U-17 World Cup because of an injury.

Although he has played for the United States in international youth competitions, the goalie, born in Miami, can still play for Venezuela because of his father’s nationality and for Peru because of his mother’s nationality.

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