A hard-working and honest central midfielder, Kellyn Acosta is a prime example of U.S. Soccer’s development pathway. Having joined the FC Dallas Academy at age 13, the youngster rose through the club ranks to sign a Homegrown contract with the MLS side in 2012, all the while being a key contributor to U.S. teams at the U-17 and U-20 FIFA World Cups.
Long showing the versatility of being able to play as a full back, Acosta began his senior international career as a left back in 2016 before moving back centrally the following year when he helped the USA win the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- Started four of five appearances in helping the USA win the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup
- Scored his first international goal on a free kick in the USA’s 2-1 win vs. Ghana on July 1, 2017
- Was part of the U.S. roster at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the 2013 and 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cups.
- Won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters Shield with FC Dallas in 2016
- Signed as a Homegrown Player with FC Dallas in July 2012
- Helped FC Dallas U-17/18s win the 2010-11 U.S. Soccer Development Academy championship
Personal: Loves anything with shrimp on it … Father and grandmother were born in Japan, which would have made him eligible to represent the Samurai Blue … Credits former Dallas Tornado player Zequinha for helping him develop early on … Was cut from his school’s junior varsity soccer team in 2010 before joining U.S. Soccer’s U-17 Residency Program a month later …
U.S. National Team: 2017: After earning his first four caps at left back, returned to his natural central midfield position … Started eight of a career-high 13 matches and scored his first international goal with a free kick in the MNT’s 2-1 win vs. Ghana in East Hartford, Conn. (July 1) … Appeared in five of eight Final Round World Cup Qualifying matches … Started four of five appearances in the USA’s successful run to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup … Started in the USA’s 1-1 draw with Mexico at Estadio Azteca … Took the free kick that ended up being turned in for a late equalizer by Bobby Wood in a 1-1 draw at Honduras (Sept. 5) … 2016: Slotted in at left back, earning four total caps with the U.S. MNT, three in friendly matches, as well as his World Cup Qualifying debut on Sept. 2, 2016 at St. Vincent and the Grenadines … Made his MNT debut on Jan. 31, against Iceland… Represented the U.S. MNT in the World Cup Qualifying Semifinal Round… First Appearance: Jan. 31, 2016 vs. Iceland … First Goal: July 1, 2017 vs. Ghana
U-23: 2016: Represented the U-23 MNT in the 2016 Olympic Qualifying Playoff vs. Colombia, starting in both matches … U-20s: 2015: Appeared in seven matches … Represented the U-20 MNT at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, starting four matches … Missed out on the USA’s Quarterfinal shootout loss to eventual champions Serbia after being shown a red card in the previous match vs. New Zealand … 2014: Appeared in four matches … 2013: Appeared in four matches and was the youngest member of the U.S. roster at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup … Began the year with the U-18 MNT during a seven-day camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla… Called up to the U.S. U-20 National Team for the Toulon Tournament in France May 28-June 8… Named to the U.S. for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup on June 7… Played nine minutes in a 3-1 win against Portugal in a pre-tournament tune-up on June 14, but did not see time in the three Group Stage matches during the World Cup. U-18s: 2012: appeared in the 2012 Lisbon International Tournament under U.S. U-18 head coach Javier Perez. There, Acosta saw 135 minutes of action for the U.S. U-18 squad, which went 0-1-2 against Poland, Slovakia and Portugal. U-17s: 2011: Played in 11 matches, including all four at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico … 2010: Appeared in seven matches …
Professional: 2017: Started 20 of 23 regular season games, recording three goals and two assists … Appeared in all four CONCACAF Champions League Knockout Round matches, scoring three goals … Tallied twice in a 4-0 win vs. Arabe Unido on Feb. 28 … 2016: Started 24 regular-season games, four U.S. Open Cup games and one CONCACAF Champions League game… Went the full 90 minutes as FC Dallas won the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final with a 4-2 win vs. New England Revolution … Won the 2016 MLS Supporters Shield … Finished the season with two goals and five assists… Scored his first goal of the season on June 25 against Real Salt Lake in the 18th minute… FCD finished the regular season with an 11-5-8 record in the matches he started and recorded 2,328 minutes played… 2015: Best match of the season versus Portland on July 25. The 20-year-old set up Barrios’ strike on a counter attack in the 12th minute and then netted a goal in the 69th to lead FCD to a 4-1 victory… Played a total of 24 matches and recorded 1,905 minutes of playing time in MLS this year. Scored three goals during the regular season, and added one more to his name in US Open Cup when subbed in on a 6-2 defeat versus Sporting KC … 2014: Began the 2014 season as the starting right back for FC Dallas… Helped the team to a 3-0-1 start before suffering a minor injury against Portland on 3/29… Recorded his first career assist in that 2-1 win against Timbers FC at Toyota Stadium… Sat out two matches before returning to the lineup in a 2-1 win against Toronto FC on April 19… Suffered a patella avulsion fracture during training on April 25 and missed the next 21 games (across all competitions)… Returned to the lineup on Aug. 16 and helped Dallas to its biggest road win in franchise history, a 5-0 victory against San Jose… Saw time at right back, left back and center midfield throughout the year… Finished the season with a career high in games played (15) … 2013: Enjoyed a breakthrough year, making his first MLS appearance for FC Dallas just 10 days after his 18th birthday, a 3-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders FC in front of 39,360 fans at CenturyLink Field (the match doubled as fellow Texan Clint Dempsey’s announcement of his return to MLS)… Made his professional debut in a friendly match versus Stoke City FC at Toyota Stadium on 7/27… Started nine consecutive MLS matches from 8/11 to 10/5… Surpassed Ruben Luna’s record (663) for minutes played by an FC Dallas Homegrown player… Became first FC Dallas Homegrown player to surpass the 1,000 minute mark on 10/26 versus San Jose… Scored one goal for the FC Dallas Reserves in 517 minutes of action … 2012: In MLS Reserve League action, Acosta logged 90 minutes in a 3-2 loss to the Houston Dynamo Reserves on June 16… The young midfielder netted a goal in the 31st minute of that match. Finished the season with 270 minutes played for the FC Dallas Reserves.
Academy: 2012: Acosta started 27 of the 28 games he played for the FC Dallas U-16 Development Academy team... He scored nine times for the 12-4-8 side, which advanced to U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy Playoffs… Also played up with FC Dallas’ U-18 team eight times, logging a total of 907 minutes… The team went 20-3-1 during the 2011-12 season, was 3-0-0 in U.S.S.D.A. Playoffs and claimed U.S. Soccer’s 2012 U-18 Development Academy championship … 2010-11: Played as a right back for FC Dallas U-17/18’s run to the Development Academy Final where they fell 2-1 to Pateadores … Joined the FC Dallas Academy at age 13 …