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From Tots to Champions Cohen and Kahn a Dynamic Duo

By Ryan Silbert

1989. It was a rainy Columbus Day when Kahn and Cohen first became friends. During a tournament, the Thunderbolts (a Port Washington traveling team) was looking distraught, after a few missed plays, the team was down by one goal. The team knew they needed to score and Cohen, then a sweeper, captured the ball from his opponent and launched a well placed shot to Kahn, then a forward, who in turn nailed a shot into the pocket of the goal. Instead of relishing in the enjoyment alone, Cohen and Kahn ran toward each other and embraced chanting, "I love you man."

1997. It was the day the Vikings had all been waiting for. The day they had been dreaming of since the opening game - the Boys Soccer Nassau County Championship. The Vikings were looking distraught; Oceanside had just scored a goal which put the team behind 1-0. The Vikings were down but certainly not out. Kahn, now the star sweeper, captured the ball away from his opponent and targeted a pass to the offensive line. Cohen, now the star forward, squired the ball from one of his teammates to nail a shot into the pocket of the goal. As if by instinct, Cohen immediately turned around to look for Kahn - who was no more than 10 feet behind him as he lifted Cohen into the air, repeated the mantra from eight years ago, "I love you man."

David Cohen and David Kahn...David 2...The Dynamic Duo of Port soccer. Over the years, the Davids, (now seniors at Schreiber), have made quite a name for themselves in the soccer community. Kahn, an All-County sweeper for this year's Viking team is a four-year starter and was key in leading his Hewlett traveling team to the state championship. Cohen, the team's leading scorer (18 goals/10 assists) is an All-State and All-Region (Northeast) forward and boasts such honors as being a member of the 1997 Empire State Soccer team. Together they are the best of friends both on and off the field. Cohen and Kahn are the kind of amigos who can finish each other's sentences, read each other's minds, and understand one another better than anyone else.

"My first memory of Cohen is from grade school when we were members of the Port Washington Soccer Club," recalled Kahn. "I was playing forward on the then undefeated 'Red Team.' I remember seeing Cohen (who was positioned as sweeper) down at the other end of the field and no matter how hard I tried, I rarely was able to get past him. Man was he fast," noted Kahn on his thoughts of his rival - soon to become best friend.

Who would have thought that what started as a "sand-box" rivalry would become a friendship stronger than words can describe? The two players became united on the traveling Thunderbolts and it wasn't long before they swapped positions as Kahn moved to sweeper and Cohen moved to forward. "I'm not sure if it was destiny or what, but the 'switch' was the best thing that could have happened to us. We work so well together with Kahn anchoring the backfield and with me up front. Some say there is an invisible string between us," noted Cohen on being one-half of a 'bookend.'

Kahn and Cohen are more than just comrades on the field. They socialize together, are constantly on the phone and they have turned Seinfeld viewing into a ritual event. Dial either of their phones at 11 p.m. and expect to hear a busy signal as they chat about George Castanza's latest scheme.

Entering high school - the dynamic duo's soccer career together came to a short, but difficult hiatus. Kahn was the only freshman to make the Varsity team, which left Cohen playing at the Junior Varsity level. However, the very next year, Cohen was back on the starting line with his buddy.

In a friendship like theirs, you would think that there would be some sense of competition. Ask them and they'll both tell you there is not. "Kahn does his thing and I do mine. We both have honors to be proud of and there is no reason to feel jealously," noted Cohen.

The epitome of this support for one another was during the tryouts for the 1997 Empire State team last spring. Kahn was cut, while Cohen was invited onto the team to compete during the summer. Kahn noted, "It may sound weird, but I was happy that Cohen made it on his own. I knew that he didn't have complete confidence in his soccer skills and that he wouldn't fully blossom until senior year. The Empire State Games gave him such a boost and this year, Cohen played tremendously. I am very proud of him," noted Kahn on his friend's achievement.

As Cohen and Kahn look toward the future they have a feeling of trepidation. Cohen, also a lacrosse star, is looking toward playing lax in college while Kahn is aiming for a future in soccer. Both see this as the end of their playing careers together. "The experience was everything I could ask for. He is my teammate, my pal, my best friend," noted Cohen on the bond he and Kahn share. Kahn notes, "No matter what the future may bring - we have a wealth of memories to share and I definitely don't see this friendship ending - it is something that lasts."

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