Now that the 2019 season has ended, I am going to review the players that played a major role in Luchi’s first season as head coach. The first player that we will review is Bryan Acosta
Bryan Acosta was born in the town of La Ceiba, Honduras, on November 24th, 1993. He played for the Real Espana youth system until 2013, when he signed for the first team at age 20. He impressed in the domestic league, so much so that he was transferred to Tenerife, a team that plays in the second division in Spain. Acosta reportedly had transfer offers from multiple teams in La Liga and other leagues due to his performances in La Liga 2.
However, it was FC Dallas that won the race for the Honduran midfielder. Acosta was signed by FC Dallas as a Designated Player for a club-record 3.2 million dollars.
(Many people don’t know the backstory behind Bryan Acosta’s desire to move to the United States. John Arnold wrote a wonderful piece about the Honduran’s difficult life as a child, and the journey that led him to Frisco).
Bryan Acosta played most of his career as an 8, dictating possession and driving the play forward to create opportunities in the final third. For Tenerife and the Honduran National Team, Acosta plays in a high 8 role, as a deep playmaker that helps possession in the attacking third.
At the beginning of the FC Dallas season, Acosta had that same role for the club. But with the departure of Carlos Gruezo, and Edwin Cerrillo’s inability to start the game in and game out, Bryan Acosta was tasked to play a much deeper role, playing the 6-role in Luchi’s system. His qualities as a midfielder made him a register, a special kind of defensive midfielder whose sole purpose is to possess the ball and begin the attacking phase of play.
However, in Luchi’s system, he was still required to put in defensive work, more so since he played in the defensive third most of the time. Acosta gradually became a better defender, as his tackling and marking improved as the season progressed.
Bryan Acosta’s goal against LA Galaxy will always be a representation of how amazing this season has been for the club.
WHAT A HIT. ?
Bryan Acosta with a screamer for @FCDallas (and that Pomykal assist)! #DALvLA pic.twitter.com/eAnAh7ouil
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 9, 2019
This is quintessential of how important Pomykal is for the team, but the strike by Acosta is probably the best goal of the season for the club.
Fans are still mad at this moment from last weekend, and rightly so.
My point all year long is that it isn't the kids – who have mostly played more minutes than anybody expected them to – who've let FC Dallas down. It's been the veterans who haven't made match-winning plays.
Anyway, Bryan Acosta, ladies and gents… pic.twitter.com/pxBGiLArTE
— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) October 19, 2019
Bryan Acosta only scored two goals in the regular season, which is fine for a defensive midfielder. But he led the team in Shots per Game in 2.2, which should not be the case for someone who has a poor record when it comes to long shots.
Season Grade: B-
There has been a lot of backlash against Bryan Acosta due to his awful decision making, which has shown to be a theme throughout the season. His ling shots and free-kicks have been extremely dissatisfying. However, for a player that has had to transition into a different position than what he is used to, Acosta has done a decent job.
As a Designated Player, he has large expectations, and with the departure of Carlos Gruezo, the Honduran had a massive role that he needed to replicate. Gruezo was a massive part of the squad, and his qualities as a defensive midfielder made him one of the best in the league, and the best the club has ever seen.
I believe that with an actual offseason to learn the role that Luchi wants him to learn, Acosta will be able to perform better next season. But he is going to need to prove that the massive price tag was worth it.
With the season over, every week, I will review the performances of players that have had a massive role in Luchi’s inaugural campaign. Who do you want to see next? Let me know in the comments!
Featured Image: FCDallas.com