SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, December 29, 2015) – Real Salt Lake announced that it has signed RSL-Arizona Academy DF/MF Danilo Acosta as the club’s 10th Homegrown Player signing. Acosta is in his third season at the Casa Grande, Arizona-based Academy, helping the team reach the final of the 2015 USSDA U-18 Championship match after previously helping the U-16 team reach the final in 2014. He will join Real Salt Lake for training camp beginning on January 22.
An imposing center back at the Academy level who also plays as a holding midfielder, Acosta joined the RSL-Arizona Academy in 2013. He was a key figure with the record-setting U-18 team in the 2014-15 season that went 37-4-4 while outscoring the opposition 176-38. In addition, he also played three matches for Real Monarchs SLC in 2015 and made one appearance for the Real Salt Lake Reserves in 2014.
“He’s another versatile player that can play a little bit at center back and a little bit at defensive mid,” Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar said. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for him to get himself as close to Kyle Beckerman as possible, watch and learn what he’s doing before practice, during practice and after practice. That will give him some time to learn, adjust to the MLS game and hopefully contribute to the first team in the near future.”
Acosta was named to the USSDA West Conference Starting XI, joining two RSL-Arizona teammates with the honor. The 18-year-old joins current Academy alums Jordan Allen, Lalo Fernandez, Justen Glad, Fito Ovalle and Sebastian Saucedo on RSL’s first team roster, while Real Monarchs SLC – the club’s USL affiliate – also has several Academy products on the roster.
“It’s an honor. When I came to the Academy, my dream was to play with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium,” Acosta said. “I’ve been working hard and the coaches have been pushing me a lot these last three years and now my dream has come true.”
Real Salt Lake will start preseason training camp on January 22 ahead of the second trip to the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal Round in club history. RSL will face UANL Tigres on February 24 in Monterrey, Mexico, with the second leg at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 2.
Player: Danilo Acosta
Weight: 170 pounds
Date of Birth: Nov. 17, 1997
Birthplace: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Hometown: Sandy, Utah
How acquired: Signed as a Homegrown Player with Real Salt Lake on Dec. 29, 2015