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2018 Dossiers: Danilo Acosta

The RSL academy product continues to impress and will fight for a starting position in 2018.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Danilo Acosta had the most starts at left back in 2017 for Real Salt Lake. After returning from the U20 World Cup, he was able to make an impact on a defensively struggling RSL.

What to know

If 2016 was marked as the year that RSL saw Justen Glad emerge as a good defender, 2017 was the year we saw Danilo Acosta follow that pattern. Acosta came through the RSL academy, then played with the Monarchs and the U20s US National Team before breaking into the RSL first team. He’s a left footed player with good speed that primarily plays as a left back, but can slot into a defensive midfield or center back role.

What to expect in 2018

Acosta seems positioned to be a starter in Mike Petke’s young team. Petke has said that Danny is in his plans and he has a vision for how he wants to see the young defender grow. There will be pressure to fight for a starting role at left back. Demar Phillips is still with the team and will want his starting position back. That competition is good for both players and for RSL.

What to hope for

There was clear improvement in Acosta’s game over the last year. We want to see better decision making and just a little more sharpness in his play. His right foot is considerably weaker than his left, and opposition attackers have exploited that in the past. If he can improve in those areas, there’s no reason why he can’t be the go to guy at left back in 2018.

The 20 year old is in a great position and this year is an opportunity to take his game to the next level. He’s on the cusp of breaking into the national team and being the definitive starter for RSL.