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Soccer starter journeys from Israel to play for XU

By Nikhil Jelaji
On October 19, 2012

Most Americans grow up playing
in little league soccer games, but for junior defender Adar Cohen, his passion for soccer came all the way from Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Living in Tel-Aviv, his life was very different from his life here in Cincinnati.
For starters,
his house was just five minutes from the beach in Israel's second biggest city.
Cohen liked to take a five minute
walk to the beach, eat out at good restaurants, go out with friends and go to the movies.
Cohen loves Israeli food and tries to make the most of it when he's at home.
"It's pretty hard to find authentic
Israeli food in Cincinnati, so I eat as much Israeli food as I can when I'm back home and try to avoid burgers and pizza because I know I'll miss the Israeli food once I go back to Cincinnati," Cohen said.
The biggest cultural difference for Adar is that people in America are nicer than those back home.
Cohen does not consider himself
to be a very religious person, making it hard for him to see many of the religious differences between the United States and his hometown.
"The only thing I did notice is the Cross, which is evident in every classroom, which I am not used to at all." Cohen said.
For Adar, Cincinnati does not hold a candle to his hometown. He feels that Tel-Aviv has much more to offer than Cincinnati. In his hometown, he feels that it is easy to find something to do or somewhere
to eat even at 3 a.m.
Cohen was six-years-old when he first discovered his interest in soccer when he went with his mother to pick up his brother from soccer practice.
It was towards the end of practice after he saw how much fun his brother was having and wanted to play. Adar asked his mother if he could play and she agreed.
Prior to coming to Xavier, Cohen played for Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC Juniors and was the captain
of the U-19 squad. He was nominated as the best player of the youth department and won a migrant cup. He was invited to participate on the Israel National U-19 team. During this time he was serving his obligatory military service.
Adar came to Cincinnati two years ago where he had to adjust to cold winters, which was his biggest
transition. He was recruited by current head coach Andy Fleming, and he could tell from his coach's voice that he was wanted at Xavier University.
Cohen has learned over the years that people will feel most comfortable when they are welcomed
to a place. Xavier's reputation
of being a good academic
school played a part in his choosing
Xavier as well.


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