D.C. United have signed Argentinian midfielder, Luciano Acosta, as a Discovery Signing on loan from Boca Juniors of the Argentine Primera División, using Targeted Allocation Money. Completion of this transaction is pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 Visa.
Acosta, 21, played for Argentine giants Boca Juniors in the 2013-14 season, making 25 appearances in the league. Last season, the creative midfielder played in 27 league matches for Estudiantes de la Plata on loan, starting eleven times.
"We are very pleased to have acquired a top young talent on loan from Boca Juniors,” Dave Kasper, United’s General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations said. "Luciano is a dynamic creative midfielder who has solid experience the past two seasons in the top Argentine league, and we look forward to quickly integrating him into our group."
Acosta has already joined United in Clearwater for the team’s second leg of preseason, and saw his first minutes in Black-and-Red on Saturday night during United’s victory over the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium. He picked up his first assist for United just 28 minutes into the match, winning a challenge against a Rowdies’ defender on the end-line and slotting a pass to fellow Argentine, Fabián Espíndola, who hit a one-time finish into the side netting for the game’s only goal.
The five-foot-three Acosta, who has been in the Boca Juniors system since 2007, is from Buenos Aires following in the footsteps of Espíndola. Espíndola also played for the Boca Juniors youth system, before playing for the senior team in 2005.
The team will remain in Clearwater for the rest of the week, with matches scheduled against the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday and Montreal Impact on Saturday. D.C. United play their first competitive match of the 2016 season in Mexico on February 23 against Querétaro F.C. in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. The return leg is on March 1 at RFK Stadium.
The New York Red Bulls had placed a discovery claim on Acosta, but after not making an offer to Boca Juniors (required by MLS if a second team is interested), United obtained the right to engage in talks with Acosta in exchange for a 2017 conditional SuperDraft pick prior to pursuing the midfielder.
Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Previous Club: Boca Juniors (On loan to Estudiantes de la Plata)
Transaction: D.C. United acquires Luciano Acosta from Boca Juniors in exchange for Targeted Allocation Money