SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Republic FC announced on Friday the sale of goalkeeper Josh Cohen to Maccabi Haifa FC of the Israeli Premier League. The player will link up with Maccabi Haifa FC ahead of the first leg of their UEFA Europa League Second Round Qualifier next week against Ligue 1 side RC Strasbourg Alsace and ahead of their 2019-20 season.
“This move is bittersweet for the club and our fans because Josh has been absolutely outstanding for us,” said Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant. “That his talents were noticed by a top club halfway across the world is a testament to his abilities and the level of play at Republic FC. This is a tremendous opportunity for Josh and we were happy to work with Maccabi Haifa FC to reach an agreement that benefited both parties.”
“I am extremely grateful to the club, the fans and the city of Sacramento for all their support over the past two seasons,” said Cohen. “The supporters here in Sacramento create a spectacular environment for the team, and the coaches, club staff and my teammates here have all played pivotal roles in my growth as a player. They are a large reason why such an amazing opportunity has presented itself; an opportunity which I could not allow myself to pass up. I am excited to see what the future holds for me as I continue my journey to become a better and more experienced goalkeeper. I will always cherish my time here and be a supporter of this special club, whether I am 7,000 miles away or back here in Sac.”
Cohen departs after spending the last season-and-a-half with Republic FC. The California native joined Republic FC ahead of the 2018 season and started every league match for the club that year. His 12 shutouts earned Cohen All-League Second Team honors and selection as a finalist for the Championship’s Goalkeeper of the Year award and helped Republic FC finish the season with the best defensive record in the Western Conference and third-best defensive record in the league.
Based in the Isreali city of Haifa, Maccabi Haifa FC is one of the “Big Four” in the Israeli Premier League having won 12 league titles and 10 domestic cups in its history. The club has also previously competed in both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Current Republic FC defender Dekel Keinan played for Maccabi Haifa FC at various stages throughout his professional career.