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Kellyn Acosta

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Kellyn Acosta, USMNT’s first Japanese American soccer player, dazzles in World Cup debut

kellyna costa
  • Los Angeles FC’s Kellyn Acosta, the first Japanese American soccer player to play for the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT), saved his team with a clutch foul that stopped the potential winning goal from Wales player Gareth Bale.
  • Prior to his World Cup debut, Acosta shared that being on the USMNT meant that he was representing “a lot more than just my country and the last name on the back of my jersey. I’m representing Black Americans, I’m representing Asian Americans and that’s a special thing.”
  • Acosta has been representing the U.S. in international competitions since he was in his teens, first as part of the team that competed in the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup and later as the youngest member of the U.S. squad at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Los Angeles FC’s Kellyn Acosta, the first Japanese American soccer player to play for the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT), made his phenomenal World Cup debut in Qatar on Monday.

The 27-year-old midfielder saved the U.S. team with a clutch foul that prevented his LAFC teammate and Wales player Gareth Bale from scoring the winning goal. Through Acosta’s last-ditch effort, the match ended in a 1-1 draw between the two clubs.