Kellyn Acosta has an impact for the USMNT and LAFC. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
This will be a big year for Kellyn Acosta.
The 26-year-old, who recently made a high profile move to Los Angeles FC is gearing up for a year where he hopes everything takes off, in the MLS and on the international stage.
The unassuming midfielder has just come off the back of one of the best seasons of his career, playing a record 21 times for the U.S. men’s national team and helping Colorado Rapids into the MLS Cup Playoffs before moving to the Los Angeles Football Club and the Banc of California Stadium.
Acosta has established a reputation as one of the hardest working players in the MLS. He undoubtedly has shown quality in set-piece situations, which he demonstrated in the USMNT’s Concacaf Gold Cup win over Mexico. Acosta was the architect delivered the decisive ball for Miles Robinson to head home the winning goal.
Let’s look at how Acosta rose to become one of the brightest lights in the U.S. midfield.
Acosta pulled on his cleats for the University of Maryland before stepping up to play for FC Dallas in his hometown state of Texas, making his MLS debut in 2013 only 10 days after his 18th birthday. Within three years, he was a fully fledged international, making his debut against Iceland in January 2016.
After 115 games and more than five years in his home state, Acosta moved to Colorado to play for the Rapids. He had an impact as in his first 12 games, scoring twice and assisting on three others, which earned him a three-year contract extension. He rediscovered his love of the game, after admitting he’d lost his way a little in his latter time with Dallas.
But not only was his love of the game on the field back, but his huge collection of sneakers also grew.
Acosta recently spoke to SoleSavy’s Juan Hernandez & Luis Torres about his love of sneakers and his MLS career. On the sneaker podcast, which covers culture, connection, and everything sneakers, Acosta covered his sneaker origin story, his shoe collection and the sneaker scenes in Denver and Dallas.
Back on the field, his impact was such in Colorado that Tim Howard, the former USMNT and Rapids goalkeeper who spent over a decade in the Premier League in England, said that Acosta would be able to make the step up into European football should the option arise for him. It was mooted by people in the media too, as Feyenoord (Netherlands) was interested in his services. While those media murmurs continued, Acosta concentrated on things in Denver, scoring the winner against Portland Timbers, which sealed the Rapids place in the playoffs.
While silverware didn’t come his way in Colorado, his performances for club and country certainly attracted attention. That brought on the move to Los Angeles just a few months ago. So far, it seems to have been the right choice. Acosta has had an excellent start to his career in LA, beating the Rapids in one of his first games and showing some good link-up play with his new teammates. Now with a potential World Cup appearance, the sky is the limit for the Plano, Texas native.
Although Acosta still harbors ambitions of playing over in Europe, there’s no better place than LA than this hard-working midfielder, where he can show off his playing skills and his sneaker collection in the California sunshine.