Soccer

Inter Miami signs first American player, and he is a South Florida native

Little did George Acosta know, when he was playing for Miami Lakes United and Weston FC, that he’d one day be playing professionally in his hometown with David Beckham as his boss.

Acosta became Inter Miami’s first American player on Friday. The 19-year-old midfielder played for the U.S. U-14, U-16, U-17 and U-20 teams and was recently called up to the U-23 national camp. He spent last season in Argentina, playing for Boca Juniors’ reserve team and is currently with USL club Austin Bold, where he will stay until Inter Miami training camp begins in January 2020.

Acosta, who is Colombian-American, grew up in Cooper City. His father, Arturo, and mother, Wendy, were fully supportive when he decided at age 14 that he wanted to leave home to follow his soccer dream.

He went to Argentina to play for the youth team of professional club Estudiantes de la Plata, and also trained in Germany. He lived in boarding houses and had to grow up in a hurry.

“It wasn’t easy because I had so many friends in middle school, and moving away took the social component out of my life,” Acosta told the Herald when he made the U.S. U-17 team. “But I don’t think I’d be the player I am today if I had not made that sacrifice. I needed to travel and compete at the highest level possible. I’ve been playing soccer since I was three, and I fully realized at age 13 that I wanted to dedicate myself to this dream.”

Acosta’s father has been his biggest supporter.

“The process is grueling to make a national team, but it is what George dreamed about,” Arturo said. “To get really good, it helps to go abroad and test yourself against the best players from other places.”

Acosta played in the Montaigu Tournament in France with the U.S. U-16 team and scored six goals. He scored a goal in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

“We are excited to sign a player of George’s potential and look forward to integrating him into our inaugural roster,” said Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough. The 2020 Major League Soccer season begins in early March.

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