New Charleston Battery center back AJ Cochran has made 161 regular season appearances in the Championship in his career, including two with the Battery in 2015 on loan from Houston Dynamo FC. | Photo courtesy Trevor Ruszkowski / Indy Eleven
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery announced Thursday the signing of defender AJ Cochran to the 2023 roster, pending league and federation approval. The 2019 USL Championship All-League Second Team selection played the previous two seasons for Indy Eleven.
Cochran brings a wealth of experience from tenures with Major League Soccer club Houston Dynamo FC and USL Championship clubs Saint Louis FC, Atlanta United 2, Phoenix Rising FC and Indy. Cochran also spent a brief loan spell at the Battery from the Dynamo in 2015.
“I’m most excited about meeting my new Charleston teammates and coaching staff, then going out onto the field and competing,” said Cochran. “My first preseason as a pro, I got to spend it in Charleston with the Dynamo. I remember falling in love with the city and, ever since then, I always loved coming back to play in Charleston.”
Cochran featured in 48 matches across all competitions for Indy from 2021 to 2022. His 156 clearances and 40 blocks were the most totaled by any Indy player across those two seasons. Cochran captained the team during the first half of the 2022 campaign and his lone goal in the year came against the Battery in October. Overall, the 29-year-old has made 161 regular season appearances in the Championship, logging 13,530 minutes of action.
Cochran’s professional career began when he was drafted 16th overall by Houston Dynamo FC in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, making 19 appearances during his rookie season. Later that same year, he made his debut for the United States U-23 national team. While playing for Houston in 2015, Cochran joined the Battery on loan for two matches. A 6-foot-3 center back, Cochran isn’t afraid to make his presence felt and is skilled at winning the ball on the ground and in the air.
Battery Head Coach Ben Pirmann is delighted to have Cochran join the squad.
“AJ is a very experienced central defender, he’s physical and exceptional in the air,” said Pirmann. “He wins his duels and has a massive presence at the back. AJ is not only a good player, but he is a top teammate and citizen, too. He’ll help us on the pitch with his footballing attributes and we’re also excited to welcome him into our community.”