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2019 Orlando City Season in Review: Danilo Acosta

The fullback with youth national team experience joined the Lions on loan but faded into the background.

SOCCER: MAR 09 MLS - Orlando City SC at Chicago Fire Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Orlando City acquired Danilo Acosta on loan from Real Salt Lake on Dec. 27, 2018. The Honduran native had a starting role with the Utah-based club until he lost his position to Aaron Herrera. The hope for OCSC was that Acosta could provide depth for Joao Moutinho as the club had parted with Donny Toia, PC, and Mohamed El-Munir. City has the option to make the transfer permanent following the 2019 season. The promise was there, then he disappeared.

Statistical Breakdown

Acosta played in eight of the team’s matches (all starts) during the 2019 MLS season, totaling 670 minutes for the Lions. In his time on the pitch, He averaged 1.4 tackles per game, 1.6 clearances, and maintained a 76% pass success percentage. His strengths included dribbling and tackling, while his weaknesses included aerial duels and crossing.

The fullback did not score a goal, but he did provide an assist, attempting only one shot in 2019. He averaged only 0.1 key passes per 90 minutes.

Best Game

Although he provided a secondary assist in a 2-0 win against Columbus on June 29, Acosta’s best game was his first in purple, the March 2 season opener at home against New York City FC. In that game, the left side felt more dangerous as the play with Kamal Miller, Sebas Mendez, Chris Mueller, and Sacha Kljestan was solid and he continued to track back to assist on defense. He had an 82% pass rating that match, three interceptions, and four clearances. We saw sparks and were hopeful for the season.

2019 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff average rating for Danilo Acosta was a 4. He had some great moments and some less-than-great moments, before he disappeared from the pitch, having played his last minutes on July 19 in the 1-1 draw at Portland.

2020 Outlook

As the Magic 8-Ball would likely say, “Outlook not so good.” At the time of his acquisition, Luiz Muzzi said:

“Danilo is a young, talented player who brings national team experience to our roster. He has the qualities and character we are looking for in a left back and are excited to bring him on board and start working with him for the preseason.”

That excitement seemed to be short-lived, with the 21-year-old only playing 670 minutes and none of those in the last three months of the season. I just can’t imagine that if he wasn’t making the cut then, and often not even seeing the 18, he won’t be making it moving forward. My guess is that OCSC does not exercise the club option to make the transfer permanent.


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