ST PETERSBURG, FL – The Tampa Bay Rowdies have acquired goalkeeper CJ Cochran on loan from OKC Energy FC after starting regularly for the USL Championship over the last two seasons.
Cochran,30, has appeared in over 100 matches during his seven years as a professional. He is the second keeper confirmed to the Rowdies roster for 2022, joining returning keeper Raiko Arozarena.
“Goalkeeper is a position where the older you get, the better you get because a lot of it is about decision making,” said Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins. “CJ’s got over 100 appearances, which was important to us considering we have a young keeper with huge potential in Raiko. So, we have a nice balance there now with CJ. He brings a very good presence. He’s good at coming for crosses and balls in the box. I think we’ve shown if we deal with that well, we can be successful on the defensive side of the game.”
A native of Georgia, Cochran stayed close to home for his college career, playing four standout seasons for Georgia State University’s men’s program. He remained in Georgia after graduation to make his professional debut with the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2015.
Following his lone season in Atlanta, Cochran moved on to Oklahoma for his first stint with OKC Energy. In 2018, Cochran signed with Nashville SC and spent most of the season on loan to Fresno FC. He then signed for Fresno as a full-time player the following year and became a regular starter for the first time in his career, appearing in 35 games and recording seven clean sheets.
In 2020, Cochran made his return to OKC and started in 13 games during the shortened season. After a short loan to Nashville in MLS at the end of the year, Cochran returned to Oklahoma City in 2021 and started in 31 games and posted 9 clean sheets for the Western Conference side.
“CJ is an unbelievable guy that comes with the best recommendations from people we respect like Matt Pickens and Gary Smith at Nashville,” said Collins. “When you look at the players we’ve lost in Max Lachowecki, Zach Steinberger, and Jordan Doherty – these guys were really influential characters in the locker room. Now we’ve got someone who will come in and have a good influence. You can never really quantify how important character is. By all accounts, CJ is a really great guy that everyone respects. I’m excited to be working with him.”
Confirmed 2022 Rowdies Roster so far:
Goalkeepers: Raiko Arozarena, CJ Cochran.
Defenders: Jordan Scarlett, Aaron Guillen, Timmy Mehl.
Midfielders: Conner Antley, Lewis Hilton, Laurence Wyke, Yann Ekra, Leo Fernandes, Sebastian Dalgaard, Dayonn Harris, Jake Areman, Junior Etou.
Forwards: Steevan Dos Santos, Lucky Mkosana, Juan Tejada, Jake LaCava, Jordan Adebayo-Smith, Kyle Greig, Sebastian Guenzatti.
The USL Championship recently unveiled the full 2022 schedule for all 34 teams across the league. Following their season opener at Birmingham Legion FC on Sunday, March 13, the Rowdies will kick off their slate of 17 home matches with a matchup against Indy Eleven on Saturday, March 19. The best way for fans to ensure they don’t miss a second of the action at Al Lang Stadium is by securing season tickets today. Packages start as low as $170 for all 17 home games and can be purchased by calling 727-222-000 or by visiting https://www.rowdiessoccer.com/tickets.