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Anthony Hudson: Kellyn Acosta looked ‘confident’ in Rapids debut


Making a switch from a conference contender to one of the league’s struggling sides is always going to pose questions for a young player. Kellyn Acosta showed no problems in his Colorado Rapids debut on Saturday night, answering many of his critics.

Despite a 2-1 defeat to D.C. United at Audi Field, Acosta was a lively presence for Anthony Hudson’s side making up for a failed penalty kick in the first half. Acosta’s rifled right-footed effort in the 82nd minute drew the visitors level after pegging their Eastern Conference foes back.

The Rapids however could not earn a point as a Niki Jackson own-goal in the 90th minute handed Ben Olsen’s side all three points. Acosta’s 26th-minute penalty struck the right post which could’ve led to a different end result in D.C. However, Hudson could see the confidence in his 23-year-old midfielder as he made up for his earlier miss.

“Kellyn got hold of the ball and he was confident,” Hudson said postmatch. “You want someone who’s confident enough to grab the ball, and Kellyn is a quality player. It goes in and it’s a dream debut. The reality is, the way he responded is outstanding.”

Acosta’s first competitive match with Colorado saw the U.S. Men’s National Team player finish with a 93% completion passing rate and seven shots in total. The Rapids only had one other efforts offensively, a second-half miss by winger Sam Nicholson.

After going from a team sitting +10 in goal differential to a Colorado side sitting on -11, it’s going to take time the Rapids to help Acosta star for the team. For the midfielder to help the Rapids lift themselves from a poor 2018 so far, he knows no added pressure will get in his way.

“I’m just trying to bring my attributes that got me to this point and bring them on the field and help out the team as much as I can and contribute,” Acosta said. “Whether it’s getting on the ball, scoring some goals, supplying assists, working on both sides of the ball. It’s kind of just using my characteristics to do well and add that to the team, and add a dimension to get some wins.”

The late winner for D.C. prevented the Rapids from earning their sixth road point this season. Colorado is the second-worst MLS side in road play this year, posting a 1-7-2 record so far. With the Los Angeles Galaxy coming to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park next Saturday, Hudson still has belief in this rebuild out West.

“After the start we’ve had to the season which we agree was horrible and tough, tough for everyone, not one player has given up the whole time,” Hudson said. “We’ve had a few performances where we’ve played some really, really good stuff, tonight especially. So for a team at the wrong end of the table, to come here and try to play the way we have, I’m encouraged.”


  1. I’ll say it again: I really like Acosta and I’m surprised others don’t rate him.

    He definitely could afford to tighten up his touch and passing precision but I love his athleticism, his motor, his vision, his raw speed and his ideas, and he’s got a shot from distance that rivals anybody’s and he’s also got some real skill on the ball, as witnessed by that cheeky chip over the keeper’s head the other day.

    He would benefit from playing in a possession-based league like La Liga, IMHO, but the kid is still young enough to make that jump.

    I still maintain Acosta could well figure into the USMNT picture in the future.

    • We have seen this sort of thing happen before where a promising player has some injuries and basically loses a season. Sometimes they lose their spot in the lineup as a result. Then they get a chance to play again and all of a sudden they show why they were promising before. You need look no farther than Zardes for a similar example. Not to compare the 2 players, but this was also true with Bale at Tottenham. He missed most of 2 seasons due to injury and lost his starting job before his breakout year. Sometimes people are too quick to judge, especially when they don’t know or don’t take into account circumstances. I agree in general with your take on Acosta.

    • No disagreement here. He is talented and has some unique qualities that distinguish him from the others in the pool. But I’m hoping his stay in Colorado is a very short one….. and probably Europe should be the next stop (agree Spain would be great).
      Ultimately, I’m still not sure exactly what his position is. If he plans on playing in the middle of the park, I wouldn’t mind seeing him bulk up a bit….

  2. so maybe the fc dallas coach was right, all the young man needed was a change of scenary. a new environment.


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