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FC Dallas signs Acosta, record-tying seventh Homegrown Player


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FC Dallas' academy has produced yet another first-team player.

FCD signed U.S. Under-18 midfielder Kellyn Acosta as its seventh Homegrown Player, matching Toronto FC for the most in the league since the inception of the rule. 

Acosta, previously a member of the U.S. U-17 residency program, will not join the club's first team until next season. In addition to playing for FC Dallas' youth sides, he has logged time with the club's reserves this season, scoring a goal against Houston.

"Kellyn is a very gifted player," FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said in a statement. "We see him as a player that may start off as a defender, but eventually he will make his way into the midfield. He brings a lot of athleticism. He is a two-way player and he seems to be a very courageous player."

Acosta joins the likes of Moises Hernandez (currently on loan to Guatemalan club Comunicaciones), Bryan Leyva, Ruben Luna, Jonathan Top, Richard Sanchez and Victor Ulloa as players to graduate to the first team from the FCD academy.

What do you think of this development? Do you think FC Dallas' academy is the strongest in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Other than USL and NASL? They could loan these players down the ladder for playing time. This would also create the excitement of seeing these young up and comers in markets that do not have MLS.

  2. I think it is still to early to be expecting a whole lot from the academies. They have only been around for 4 or 5 years for most teams. It will probably be 10 years before you see the complete developement of players who have come through the teams youth developement system and are then impacting the first team.

    How many players in the last 10 years have become stars of not only their team but of their league at the age of 19/20?(Messi, Rooney,Ronaldo nd Neymar) That is the age of the players that FC Dallas has signed up to this day.

  3. There’s been some success but not alot with homegrown players. Juan Agudelo and Louis Gil are probably the most successful. Its too early to judge the MLS academy systems because they’ve only been around a few years. Its a rare exception anywhere around the world for players to be ready for first team action at age 18. Most players have breakthroughts from 21-23. Most of the time the best 18 year olds aren’t the best when they’re 23. Regardless, thats not to detract from academy programs, we need to develop as many players as possible. Only a few will make it. They probably should offer some scholarship for homegrown players for them to go to school if soccer doesn’t work out. Go to wikipedia and look at Generation Addidas, you will see the success of the program. However, thats taking maybe 10 of the best 20-21 year old players each year.

  4. who is requireing a 16 year old to sign a professional contract? Dallas and Toronto apparently see somethings in these young players that they hope will either develope in their own program or will be of value to another club before the contract is up.

  5. It’s unfortunate that none of those homegrown players have been able to make an impact. I suppose fortune might have nothing to do with it, however.

  6. Now that I back 100%. We’re giving them what? 10 games a year in the reserve league? That’s garbage. Young players especially, they need to PLAY. I’m actually in favor of minor league affiliation myself. It works in other countries, you vertically integrate the game, and you already have precedent of that being done in this country. (Major League Baseball). And it still leaves a place at the table for college soccer. Which should always be a viable option for many players who choose that route, or don’t get pro offers right away.

    If the competition committee goes that route, & they are considering it, then I hope the clubs get it right. It’d be a powerful way to integrate real player development into our league and not a symbolic gesture that is the current HomeGrown rule.

  7. FC Dallas may very well have the best academy in the U.S. At least they’ve consistently made it to the finals over the past three years. This year’s team has an impressive 27-4-3 record with 92 goals and only 19 against. The experience with the FCD Academy teaches players the style of the first team.

    I think one of the biggest problems with playing time with taking on a teen-aged home-grown player (HGP) is is that they’re still growing and developing physically. Of course, for a small investment and no draft or trading fees, a club can train HGP’s year-round at the highest level in the U.S. and potentially develop them much better than a college could over the course of the same four years. At least that’s the hope. And so are trades to other clubs and countries such as Guatemala, as is the case with FC Dallas’ Moises Hernandez.

  8. Yep, sad but true. MLS is still missing a step in the pyramid to prepare these players for life as professionals.

    Ideally, there’d be some kind of “minor league soccer” to give these guys some seasoning before they get to the pro level. Being bastardized on the back end of MLS rosters playing in the D-league probably isn’t helping much.

  9. who is the best Homegrown player in mls?
    i don’t pretend to have an encyclopedic knowledge of who is and who is not a Homegrown player, but the first names to come to mind are bill hamid and juan agudelo.
    maybe this question has been raised here before, but i can’t be certain. i’d love to see the staff at ives weigh in on this.

  10. The Chicago Fire just started a fully funded program from U10 all the way through U18. Hopefully some other MLS franchises will follow suit. That is the way to start seeing progress, get the best ones in at young ages and groom them.

    Now you just need to make sure you have the right coaches doing the grooming!

  11. The Houston Texans SC beat the Dynamo U18s. The Texans have at least briefly had their hands on the Holden brothers, Brek Shea, Tyler Deric (the Dynamo backup), Johnny Torres, Imad Baba, et al.

    The problem is that the academies are presently not better than the elite clubs, nor do they produce more first team pros. Until they are picking and developing their own players U10 on up and then beating the clubs at their own game, I’m not sold they’re the future. In which case why do we treat academy players different than draft eligibles?

  12. Let me complicate things. What if the college player would play not just the 4 month fall season, but also the two months of spring play everyone who didn’t play college ball neglects (which are how MLS teams play colleges in spring training…my school used to play the local USISL team once or twice), and maybe PDL in the summer? PDL in particular gets just forgotten.

    But, even if I play along with the pro being better argument, how is forcing them to play for their senior team necessarily superior than the draft or signing with the minor league team directly? I’m a big believer in PT

    All due respect but MLS expanded the rosters and put in the homegrowns when the minor league teams of castoffs like PR and Montreal started to eat their lunch in CCL. And of course the union prefers more MLS players. But whether 30 people including homegrowns is the best thing for players 19-30 is another question. I don’t even necessarily oppose rights per se, but I think the half baked reserve league concept is probably worse than minor league affiliation or a real reserve league or about anything you can think of.

  13. If the player in question isn’t getting minutes, I agree with you. Getting loaned to other clubs is better than competing four months out of the year at the NCAA level, though. (Assuming they’re playing)

  14. i wouldn’t expect too much quick success out of the academies.. more of a long term thing.

    but one thing for sure; there is a lot of soccer talent in Texas. good to see them getting into it; especially hispanic talent.

  15. It is dissapointing that none of the FC Dallas guys have produced. Top and Levya seem the most promising right now but Luna looked like a sure thing and has not done anything this year. Acosta and Top might be the most legit prospects because both had college options and still chose to sign with Dallas.

  16. Grand total of 491 minutes in 13 total appearances (mostly Leyva), 0G 1A, 3 of the players haven’t even played a first team minute this year.

    Hernandez underlines the absurdity, we give Dallas exclusive homegrown development rights to a player who not only does not make a first team appearance, but is then shipped to Guatemala on loan because Dallas can’t figure out a way to develop their own developmental player. There are similar circumstances where players are loaned to American minor league teams.

    What’s the point other than “dibs” for franchises that are actually only integrating a small percentage of the players into the used first team? Correct me if I am wrong, but does a player trained in, say, Arsenal or Hoffenheim’s academy have to sign there as a senior professional? Not that I understood. There is likely a prestige and moral attraction to signing with the team that “developed” you, but requiring it? And to the extent the requirement is justified as, team x has in fact “developed” or “will develop” you into a first teamer, that’s somewhere between debatable and dubious. Since we’re not into entry-player free agency I think we’d be better off back in the draft where the team that most wants player x gets him.

  17. The two worst teams in the league right now have the most Homegrown players. Clearly this system is working for them.


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