Acosta enjoys first experience with Under-20 national team

FRISCO, Texas - For the first time in four games, Kellyn Acosta didn’t make the gameday roster for FC Dallas in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Vancouver, but the absence was excused. The 17-year-old was the youngest member of last week’s US Under-20 Men’s National Team camp held in Carson, CA.

While Acosta is a veteran of US youth national teams, this was his first with Tab Ramos’ U-20 side as they continue preparations for the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup held in Turkey this summer.

“It was a big step for me,” Acosta told on Monday. “I didn’t know what to expect, but after the first practice I was pretty confident and comfortable. They were very encouraging.”

Acosta played as a substitute in both matches last week, scoring the game-winning goal in an intra-squad scrimmage on Wednesday as well as playing a half-hour in Sunday’s 6-2 victory over USASA side Cal FC. While the Homegrown signing has shown an ability to play many different positions, Acosta said he was dispatched as a linking midfielder in Ramos’ setup, a position similar to the one he plays when appearing for the FC Dallas Under-18 Academy team.

“[Tab Ramos] said he was impressed with me and that I performed well and age doesn’t really matter,” said the 17-year-old.

While Acosta was the only FC Dallas roster player called into this camp, FCD Academy alumni and ACC Freshman of the Year Danny Garcia was also called into the camp. Acosta said Garcia’s presence helped him integrate into the group as a new player.

“It was very cool [having Danny there],” said Acosta. “I hung out with him most of the camp and he introduced me to most of the guys so it was great.”