Barcelona puts a 17-year-old goalie from the US youth team on its Champions League team

This season, Xavi has already put Diego Kochen in his teams.

As the group stage of the UEFA Champions League is about to start, teams are starting to put out their squads. Fans of the U.S. national team might have noticed on Tuesday that FC Barcelona’s team for the next group games includes a goalie who could be the future of the Stars and Stripes.

Barcelona said that 17-year-old Florida local Diego Kochen will be part of the team for the group stage. This means that the 17-year-old could play for the first time in the competition this fall.

Kochen hoped that

For the time being, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who is one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, will continue to be Barcelona’s first choice. But Kochen is quickly becoming known as a possible future pillar as he moves up the ranks at Barca’s well-known school.

Kochen was born in Miami to parents who were from Peru and Venezuela. In 2018, he moved to Spain with his family. The next year, he joined La Masia, Barcelona’s youth school. In March 2022, he signed a contract to play professionally. Head coach Xavi has been so pleased with the young goalkeeper’s progress that he has put him on the bench for three of the Spanish champions’ LaLiga games so far this season.

A fight to make sure Kochen has a bright future in the world

Kochen has already played a few times for the US youth team, but his future with the USMNT is still up in the air until he makes his start.

Peru and Venezuela could go after Kochen and try to get him to change his mind about his plans for the future. The US has a lot of good goalkeepers coming up, like Matt Turner, Ethan Horvath, Gabriel Slonina of Chelsea, and Drake Callender of Inter Miami. But Kochen hasn’t shown much of a preference yet, and he needs to think about his future at Barcelona for now.

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