After scoring only a single goal through the first 19 games of the season, D.C. United’s Luciano Acosta has been a major scoring threat for his club lately. A large reason for that is the presence of Wayne Rooney.
Midfielder Luciano Acosta is best known for his creativity with the ball. His ability to dribble past defenders and deliver key passes inside the penalty box has made him one of D.C. United’s best playmakers.
However, in his last six games with the club, Acosta has proven to be more than just a dribbler. With Wayne Rooney playing as a striker, Acosta has had much more freedom to make runs down the midfield. He has enjoyed such freedom greatly.
His pace and ability to create scoring opportunities through traffic has made Acosta a nightmare to mark for opposing defenders. If he is able to find space in the penalty box, he is going to go for goal.
The Argentine midfielder’s performance against Atlanta United on Sunday was a perfect showcase for just how lethal he can be as a scorer.
Throughout the game, Rooney was able to feed passes to Acosta down the wings and through the midfield. The Argentine midfielder was able to use his dribbling and shot-placement ability to capitalize on two key scoring opportunities.
Acosta picked up a brace and the win against Atlanta United, bringing his scoring tally to seven goals this season. He currently has the second most goals on the team and only trails midfielder Yamil Asad and forward Darren Mattocks, who both have nine goals this year.
If you were to compare his stats from his two previous seasons with United, it’s easy to see that Acosta is in the middle of his best year with the club. In his last six games, Acosta has scored six goals and collected an assist.
During his first season with D.C. United, Acosta led the team with 11 assists in 31 games. However, he only scored three goals that year. In the following season, Acosta managed to score five goals, but only collected five assists. It was a difficult year for United, where the team failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Now in 2018, the club is on the hunt for a playoff spot. Through 24 games this year, Acosta has already scored the most goals he has in any season with United. He also leads the team with 10 total assists this year.
With eight regular season games remaining on the schedule, Acosta could be the first D.C. United player to score at least 10 goals and collect 10 assists in a season for the club since Jaime Moreno did it during the 2008 season.
Acosta’s current productivity shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Argentine midfielder has always had the talent to be a goal scorer, but he has long needed a teammate who could compliment his style of play up top.
With Rooney joining the team and playing as a striker, he is able to pull away defenders from Acosta, freeing up the midfielder to wreak havoc in the penalty box.
As United looks to make a run into playoff contention, the team will likely rely on Luciano Acosta as both a playmaker and a goal scorer. If he and Rooney can continue to connect on the attacking front, the team should have little trouble scoring moving forward.