24 Under 24 - 2016 - Kellyn Acosta
Rudy Calderon

Kellyn Acosta | 24 Under 24


Kellyn Acosta

AGE: 21

COUNTRY: United States

POSITION: Midfielder/Defender

CLUB: FC Dallas


The crown jewel of FC Dallas’ prized crop of Homegrown players, Acosta has established himself as one of the steadiest central midfielders in the league over the past couple of seasons. Though the 21-year-old serves in a platoon with Carlos Gruezo (No. 8 on this list) and Victor Ulloa, he’s already notched career highs with 28 regular season appearances (20 starts) and two goals and five assists.

Acosta, who has incredible range, solid passing ability and a knack for ball winning, is also capable of lining up at outside back, and has done so on multiple occasions for the US national team. He’ll continue to be a key cog in Oscar Pareja’s starting XI as FC Dallas continue their push for the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup.

What the technical staffer say:

“Of all [FC Dallas’ Homegrown] kids, I really like Acosta. He’s tough and he fights. I’d play him in a wide role, and I think he’s got a real future out there given his pace and his ability to get forward to get forward from deep positions.”

“In that holding midfield role, he’s a good ball-winner. Spacing wise, he knows how to make decisions as far as pressuring the ball, providing cover. I think he does a fantastic job of covering for his teammates.”

“An all-around good player at such a young age.”

“I wouldn’t slot him in as a US starter at this point. I think at the left back position, me personally, I want a left-footed player there, who is comfortable carrying the ball up the left flank. That’s not to say he can’t do it, but it’s a challenge considering he’s a right-footed player.”

“Any time Acosta gets in the national team, it’s good for his development. You play him out of position and he’s going to learn from that and grow from that. Do I think at the international level that he’s going to play left back? I don’t, but I do think he can play outside back at that level. He’s got a lot of ability and he can be a dynamic player at an international level.”

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