Though one of the most seasoned players in the USMNT player pool, Kellyn Acosta endured a near two-year absence from the team before returning during last December’s friendly against El Salvador. That appearance sparked an incredible international resurgence for the veteran midfielder in 2021 and his first nomination for BioSteel U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year.
Before casting your ballot for U.S. Soccer’s 2021 Player of the Year awards, here’s a rundown of Acosta’s body of work for country and club this year:
- Following the 6-0 win against El Salvador last December, Acosta played in 19-straight matches and achieved a team-leading 20 appearances – the most by a USMNT player in a calendar year since Landon Donovan did the same in 2002.
- With the ability to play in both the holding and box-to-box roles, the 26-year-old has given Gregg Berhalter extra flexibility in midfield while providing valuable on-field leadership for the young U.S. side.
- Acosta was the only player to appear in all three wins against Mexico in 2021, as well as the sole individual to start both the both the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup Championship triumphs against El Trí.
- In the latter appearance, Acosta registered the assist on Miles Robinson’s 117th minute winner to claim the Gold Cup on Aug. 1.
- The Colorado Rapids midfielder has appeared in seven of the eight World Cup qualifying matches thus far, missing only the 2-0 win against Jamaica on Oct. 7.
- Acosta showed the same consistency with his club, appearing in 21 matches and recording one goal and two assists to push the Colorado Rapids to the MLS Western Conference Regular Season championship and postseason berth.
This is Acosta’s first nomination for Male Player of the Year.