The biggest priority on D.C. United’s offseason checklist has been completed. The team has announced that they have completed the transfer of attacking midfielder Luciano Acosta, paying an undisclosed (but large) fee to Boca Juniors to secure his services for 2017 and beyond. The combined investment, between Acosta’s salary and the transfer fee, is the second largest in D.C. United history, behind only Marcelo Gallardo.
After spending the beginning of the season as a second forward, Ben Olsen changed everything about his attack to center it on Luciano Acosta and put him in his natural position: the creative, attacking midfielder. That change, combined with the additions of Patrick Mullins and Lloyd Sam, kicked off United’s season and helped make them the playoff team that they were. Acosta’s 11 assists on the season were the first time since 2012 that United had someone get to double digits in that category.
Dave Kasper, D.C. United, general manager and VP of soccer operations, had this to say about the signing:
This substantial investment demonstrates our ownership's commitment to our continued success on the pitch in the coming years. We are excited to obtain Lucho's services for the long-term. Ben, the rest of the coaching staff and I were impressed with how much Lucho grew as a player over the course of his first season in MLS. His rapid development and acclimation to a new league, country, team and culture are a sure sign of things to come.
The young Argentine will be making designated player level money in 2017, but United will use some of its targeted allocation money to pay down his cap charge under the DP threshold. This is exactly the kind of player that TAM was created to acquire: a young, exciting attacking player who completely changes the way a team plays. The addition of Acosta allowed Ben Olsen to play the attacking style that he really does want to play, and gives the team a centerpiece around which to continue to build.
Glad you’re here to stay, Lucho!