2017 24 Under 24 - No. 21 - Luciano Acosta


Luciano Acosta

AGE: 23

COUNTRY: Argentina

POSITION: Midfielder

CLUB: D.C. United


24 under 24 | #21 Luciano Acosta

Luciano Acosta has endured a difficult second season on East Capitol Street, but he remains D.C. United's most important attacking piece. After leading the team with 10 assists during the 2016 campaign, the No. 10 has tried his best to make up for D.C.'s lack of a consistent striker in 2017 as the team's leading goalscorer. With Paul Arriola the headliner of four midfield-minded additions during the summer transfer window, and with D.C. likely to make more before moving to Audi Field next year, Acosta's influence should only increase. A bona-fide target man up front for D.C. would probably do wonders for him, though.

What the technical staffers say:

“I think he’s a crafty little player that can control the tempo of the game. I think he definitely plays beyond his years in terms of knowing when it’s time to put your foot on the ball, when it’s time to push it forward. But he does a really good job of finding pockets of space and then he has the ability to pick the final pass and can chip in with a few goals, as well.”

“He’s a fabulous young player. I think he’s the kind of player that we do want to sign to MLS – a young kid with abilities and someone who’s only going to increase in ability as he plays. I think he’s had a rough go of things in a team that’s been in a tough spot and I think he’s not necessarily a great fit for that team, but I think he’s a really good player. I think he’s got enormous potential. He does have that end stage ability. He’s creative, he can distribute, he can feel body pressure, he can regulate the tempo of a game. He can always do more as a two-way player, but I think as he’s been in the league, he’s become more active. I think it’s just a question of putting some tools around him and I think you’ll start to see big, big numbers in terms of goals and assists.”

“I think he’s got all the ability to become a very influential 10, but I also think that he’s still adjusting to the league and still adjusting to the team. There’s been so many changes around him that I’m not sure this year has been the greatest stepping stone for his personal growth within MLS. That said, I think with the right pieces around him he is perfectly suited to be very successful. He’s a little different than an MLS traditional 10, where it’s more about the hard work than the magic. Acosta has those moments of magic that can change games.”

“I think what really separates him is the more touches he has the more positive influence he has on a game. Rarely do you see a game where he gets an exceptional amount of touches and isn’t really successful in influencing the way the game is played and the outcome of the game. I just think he has the ability on the ball to hold off pressure, separate himself from pressure and deliver the correct ball with the correct weight. That’s a well-rounded player that we don’t have a ton of in that position in our league.”

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