Kellyn Acosta | Midfielder | FC Dallas | Age: 20
Last Year in 24 Under 24: n/a
2015 Stats: Matches played: 18 - Goals: 2 - Assists: 2
For many fans outside of north Texas, their first introduction to Kellyn Acosta came this past spring when he played left back for the US U-20 team in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The rest of us were wondering why he wasn't playing d-mid.
In the intervening months, Acosta has shown exactly why so many thought he'd be best in the middle of the park, as he's played his way into the starting lineup for FC Dallas and helped drive them up the Western Conference standings. His field coverage is outstanding, his passing is always improving and he's able to get out of certain jams with the ball on his foot.
He still needs to learn a few veteran tricks, but there's really no reason to think he won't.
What the technical staffers say: "He’s had the benefit of being given a lot of games, and I think he’s taken advantage of the minutes he’s earned. When I first saw him, I think they initially played him as a left back. Now they play him as one of two holding guys, and that suits him. He covers a lot of ground and makes a lot of the plays that you need those guys to make.
"He has better feet than I first thought he had when I first saw him. Tactically, he seems to have improved, seems to be in good spots on the defensive side of things. I think he’s a little more comfortable defending than going forward right now, but if you look at how he's added to his game already, you start to wonder if he can eventually become that kind of threat."
What Opta Sports says: Kellyn Acosta is the only 24 Under 24-eligible player to have registered more than 35 tackles (37), 30 interceptions (35) and 20 shots (25) this season.
- READ: Hometown kid drives Dallas through red hot summer
- WATCH: Acosta slams the door on Portland with left-footed beauty
What do you think of Kellyn Acosta? Tell us in the comments below.