FRISCO - As you might expect from a player who doesn't even turn 20 until July, the early part of 2015 has been a roller coaster for Homegrown midfielder Kellyn Acosta, but if Friday's match at Colorado is any indication, things could be trending up.
Making his second start of the season, Acosta went the full 90 minutes for the first time in FCD colors since September 20, 2014 against Los Angeles. It was also just the third time since moving to central midfield that Acosta has started and played 90 minutes for FCD in what was an all-Homegrown midfield pairing with Victor Ulloa.
“I’m glad I got the opportunity to play and play a full game,” Acosta said. “I’m glad I got to go out there with the boys and get a good result. There are always little things you can work on- I can get to the ball more and be cleaner with it. I think as the game went on I progressed more and I grew into the game and did better.”
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said he chose to start Acosta over the set piece specialist, Michel, against Colorado because of the higher altitude.
“With the higher altitude, I needed a lighter player there in that position that could give me range and cover more ground,” Pareja said. “I know I was going to give up some of the little things that I have with Michel, but [Acosta] accomplished what we wanted.”
Between 2014 and the start of this season Acosta has battled through a couple of injuries including an avulsion fracture of his left knee almost a year ago. Now healthy, the 19-year-old midfielder has slowly but surely worked his way into starting XI consideration for the rest of the season and has a couple more weeks to impress US U-20 head coach Tab Ramos before the final selections for the U-20 World Cup beginning at the end of May.
“He proved to himself, the coaching staff and his teammates that he is ready to play,” Pareja said. “I think he lasted ninety minutes with a lot of intensity and that is positive. And the best news for me is that I saw him stronger than ever and that was my concern last year, that he couldn’t recover his strength or it took a lot of time to recover from the injury but now he is at full strength and I’m excited.”