TAMPA – They tell you never to tweet angry. But following the US national team's disappointing 1-1 draw against Panama to open the Gold Cup Saturday, Kellyn Acosta vented his frustrations on the social media platform anyway.
He was piping mad, both about his own performance and his team's overall showing.
Crap performance..Has to be better.. Thanks for the support as always!— Kellyn Acosta (@KellynAcosta) July 8, 2017
Tuesday morning, he was no less disappointed and didn’t regret the tweet. However, he was also eager to move on in the tournament.
“I was upset about how I played individually and collectively as a team I thought we expect more out of ourselves and it wasn’t our best performance,” Acosta told reporters. “Sometimes that’s how the game goes. It’s a long tournament and we have two games to get on track and get back to the things we’re good at.”
Acosta’s good at a bunch of things, whether its dictating tempo and find passing seams, covering ground positionally, spreading the field with either foot or hitting a free kick.
And after those traits didn't quite translate against Panama, the 21-year-old FC Dallas midfielder credited his opponents' approach and criticized himself for not being more proactive.
“Panama sat back and had a good game plan,” Acosta said. “They pressured us well when [Dax McCarty and I] had the ball. It was too easy for them and I thought defensively we were too soft. [Anibal] Godoy and [Gabriel] Gomez had a field day and we didn’t adjust at all.
“We were too reactive and weren’t aggressive enough,” he added. “They had their direct game plan where they would sit in and I thought we were half a second off and they pounced on that. Or we weren’t strong enough in tackles or we didn’t apply enough pressure. We have to be better, individually and collectively. It’s imperative we go get three points Wednesday night.”
The midfielder said he relishes the chance to make a claim to a starting spot with the US team, and appreciates that experiencing adversity is part of the process.
“I’m trying to be consistent and comfortable in my spot,” Acosta said. “The more games we play the more comfortable I feel. Obviously, Bruce has given me some extra responsibilities with the team. I take set pieces with my club and I’m glad that’s translated to an opportunity with the national team. But work needs to be done. I don’t take it for granted. I’m learning every day and trying to get better.”