Kellyn Acosta, who is Japanese American, and the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) advanced to the World Cup knockout stage on Tuesday.
The USMNT faced Iran in their final group-stage game of the 2022 World Cup. The team needed to beat Iran in order to advance to the knockout stage. Christian Pulisic, a forward who plays for Chelsea F.C., scored the game’s only goal in the 38th minute. Pulisic would leave the game at half-time after suffering an abdominal injury.
The United States dominated the first half of the game but played a cagey second half. Acosta came on during the 65th minute for Juventus midfielder Weston Mckennie, who is still working his way back to full fitness.
Acosta is a proud Japanese American who currently plays for Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) in the MLS. He was traded to LAFC in 2022 and played in 32 games for the 2022 season. The Texas-born soccer player helped LAFC win the 2022 MLS Cup. He opened the scoring for the team during their championship win against the Philadelphia Union.
Acosta has been outspoken about being Japanese, Black and Hispanic. He spoke about how his diverse upbringing helped him connect with people and teammates from different backgrounds in a profile video for U.S. Soccer.
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