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2018 Player Profiles: Danilo Acosta

He went from being a U20 CONCACAF Champion to sitting the bench, what happened?

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

When looking back at this season, there’s a lot of drama around Danny Acosta.

Danny Acosta was one of those players that we were all super excited about. He is young, talented, and plays a position we needed someone in, and overall just seemed to be the answer to our problems, but then as the season progressed, he didn’t ever really get his chance to solve those problems.

With the early season injury to Demar Phillips, it was kind of assumed that Acosta would take over his spot. There was no reason not to. We had Aaron Herrera as an option as well but it just made sense for Acosta, who has had previous success inside and outside of RSL, would naturally just fill in for that spot.

Some people speculated maybe because he was so young, perhaps RSL would try to find a more experienced player, but that didn’t really happen. He had a period of about eight games where he would start, but before and after that, he rarely saw consistent minutes.

What ultimately happened is Herrera, RSL’s rookie, would take this spot and play it for pretty much the rest of the season after July. No disrespect to Herrera, he did incredible at it, it was just definitely not what anyone expected to happen after Phillips was injured.

Nevertheless, Acosta found himself rarely seeing minutes. He saw just 28 minutes after July 14th. A lot of fans that speculated that Acosta was “in the doghouse” so to speak, but really, what did happen?

In Acosta’s 10 starts of 2018 RSL was 6-1-3 and the 28 minutes he saw after those starts were in RSL’s 6-0 demolishing of the Rapids. So it’s not that Acosta’s play was so horrible he cost the team points every game necessarily. With him starting RSL was scored on just 12 times, which throughout the entirety of the season they were scored on 58 times. So in about one-third of the season, Acosta was present on the field for about one-fifth of the goals against.

So now that you’ve read all of these reasons why maybe Acosta should have seen more minutes, the question still is there. Why didn’t he? Well, that we don’t really know. Perhaps it was a coaching decision, perhaps something else was going on — really, there were a lot of reasons he may not have seen the minutes we thought he should have. In the end of it all though, we will have to wait until at least 2019 to see him back in Claret and Cobalt after his loan to Orlando City.