COUNTRY: United States
CLUB: FC Dallas
YEARS PRO: 5
A versatile midfielder who can also function as an outside back or a wingback in particular, Kellyn Acosta is already approaching league veteran status despite only turning 22 in July.
After earning his first cap for the US national team a year earlier under Jurgen Klinsmann, Acosta has become a regular contributor for USA under current boss Bruce Arena. He started in four of six games during a run to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup crown, and has been in the starting XI three more times during the final phase of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Although FC Dallas' club fortunes have taken a sour turn over the latter portion of the season, and the US remains tangled in a fierce qualification battle, the big picture for Acosta remains bright.
What the technical staffers say:
"He’s a player who could have a long national team career if he continues to progress the way he has."
"What I like about him is he measures passes well. He has a good first touch, he’s deceptive in his play, his balance is good."
On his European prospects: “The situation has to be right for him, but for sure he can play in Europe…Right now I think he could play in the 2.Bundesliga and lower Bundesliga teams.”
"The fact that he covers so much ground, his set piece-taking ability now, the fact that his range of passing has improved…and his timing on when to get involved in the attack and when to defend, is really good."
"I think with it being a World Cup year next year, the opportunity for him to start to improve his game and take a jump to Europe could absolutely happen. I don’t see him being with a Man City or a Manchester United or something like that, but could he play on that next level in the Premiership or in the Serie A or something? I think there’s a chance for him. I watched him as a youth player, and his development, and now I see what Christian [Pulisic] is doing [in Europe], I could see this happening. Because he’s a two-way player…He could definitely go somewhere and function in the right midfield."