George Acosta welcomes us into his home. Quiet, focused, represents a new generation of players who will give plenty to talk about in the immediate future of soccer in the United States.
Text: Carlos Echeverri & Linda Gutiérrez
At 16 years old George Acosta, is glimpsed as a big soccer star. He’s part of the U.S U-17 Boys National Team, where he plays as a midfielder with the number 10, and stands out as one of the scorers of the team. Although there are several teams from different countries interested in him for his talent with the ball, George takes it in stride. He’s a quiet, friendly and serious boy who enjoys above all being at home with his family, and for whom friendship is a great value.
SoccerPlus was with George at his home in Cooper City. There, surrounded by Arturo his father, and his mother Wendy, he openly answered the questions…
How old were you when you started playing soccer and in what team?
Two and half years old in the Miami Lakes zone.
What has been your happiest moment as soccer player?
Last March, we played in France the “44th Mondial Football Montaigu Tournament”. We were champions and we beat the French team 3-2. I played during the whole match, and scored two goals.
Were you the top scorer at the Montaigu tournament?
Yes, I scored 6 goals in 3 matches. The two goals of the last
match against France, in the final, were especially important.
Your saddest moment?
A camp we went in Buenos Aires, Argentina, we didn’t do very well. We played against Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
How is a day in your normal life?
I get up early, I eat eggs and sausages and orange juice for breakfast. Later, I go to training, for two hours and a half. And then I go to school.
And how is the routine in a competitive team as the U.S. U-17 MNT?
It’s hard and tiring. The day starts with a urine test to determine the level of hydration you have, because if you’re not hydrated after the matches of the day before, they won’t let you play. If you pass the test, they take you to the pitches to train for an hour and a half to two hours.
Is there any psychological training?
Yes, every two weeks we have a class. I like them a lot, because they teach us about leadership and work team.
What’s the most important thing about being with the U.S. National Team?
You can never take lightly being part of the National Team. It’s very competitive and if you lower your performance, they can replace you by another. There are 30 young people fighting for a place.
Who are your best teammates?
Christopher Goslin, his origin is from Jamaica and Justin Garces, with family from Venezuela.
What’s your experience of the recent tournament in India, where you ranked second?
A difficult experience. We were 15 days in India. It was very hot, the food wasn’t very good. The journey was of 25 hours. The cultural changes affected all of us.
And, now what’s next for the summer?
Well, we are on vacation now. I keep training by myself or with my Weston club. Right now I’m going to rest for three weeks. Later, I would travel to Germany to do some tests with the Red Bull Leipzig team. And I might travel to Argentina because the Banfield team from Buenos Aires wants to see me play. Another interested team is the Seattle Souders FC of the MLS.
What would you say to the boys who want to succeed like you?
You will have ups and downs. But you have to keep working and striving to achieve what you want.
Do you plan to continue in soccer to become professional?
Yes, I want to continue in soccer and be a professional player.
WHO IS HE
Name: George Acosta
Origin: United States of America
Birthday: January 6, 2000
Team: Weston FC
Position: Number 10, midfielder.
Favorite international team: Borussia Dortmund
Favorite international player: Isco, Real Madrid
Favorite food: Rice and chicken.
Movie: I’m Legend, with Will Smith.
Song: Santeria, by Sublime.
A place you like a lot: My home.
Something you dislike: Lies.
A word that defines you: Friendship.
What class do you like?: History
Family: Arturo his father, Wendy his mother and his two sisters Alexis and Cinthia.
¿Messi or Ronaldo?: Messi, he’s better.
Who do you think will win the Copa America? I think Argentina will win.
“He can assist, he can score, and he can do it in so many different ways. He can dribble through people, he can combine, he can hit it with the right, with the left, he can head it in. … He’s naturally right-footed, but he’s player who when we told players to work on their left foot, he did it. In a lot of scrimmages and small-sided games, he always used his left and had fun with it.”
Weston’s Assistant Technical Director