For any 18-year old, playing against the likes of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and the rest of the two-time defending MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy could be a little daunting. But for FC Dallas Homegrown defender/midfielder Kellyn Acosta, it was just another day at the office.
Acosta earned his first regular season start on Sunday in the 3-3 draw against LA. In the first half he played at left back and then got switched to center midfield at the start of the second half thanks to an injury to Andrew Jacobson. Once Zach Loyd went down midway through the second half, Acosta found himself back in the defense again, at right back.
Playing in so many different positions in one game can be tough on anyone but with the confidence of the entire team behind him, Acosta made it through with ease.
"He was versatile," said FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman after Sunday's game. "We all knew he was going to be a good player for us. He just turned 18 a couple weeks ago. I know all the players on our team have a lot of confidence in him. I know David (Ferreira) has come to me a couple of times saying, 'Coach, give him a chance. I think he'll be OK.'"
Acosta admitted after the match that the switch to center midfield was a little unexpected.
"I haven't played there in a little bit, but I was excited to be in there and get a few touches," said Acosta. "I felt like I did better as an outside back. I guess I just had the game more in front of me, so I felt a little more comfortable there."
Hyndman mentioned to the press after the match on Sunday that the emergence of a player like Acosta is going to be the veterans in the defense on notice.
"It is a funny thing when you take a regular player out of the starting lineup, they're not injured and you bring in a young player. And then that young player plays well. It brings people to alert and if you want your position back, you have to earn it back," explained Hyndman.
Given how the schedule is the next week and half for FC Dallas, we could very well see a lot more of Acosta. That may not be a bad thing given how the club needs a push going into the stretch run of the season. I'm all for getting a young guy minutes when he deserves it and after his performance on Sunday, I think it is the right time to continue to throw him out to the wolves.