MLS All-Star Game captain Luciano Acosta reunites with former D.C. United teammate Wayne Rooney

Washington D.C. — As MLS All-Star festivities get into full swing, Washington D.C. takes center stage as the league’s best face Arsenal on Wednesday, July 19. Lionel Messi mania might be sweeping the league from Miami, but there are quite a few storylines of interest in the nation’s capital as well. Folarin Balogun and Auston Trusty will be traveling to the United States with Arsenal for the match. New signings Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber could make their Arsenal debuts, the last two MLS MVPs, Carles Gil and Hany Muktar could star for the MLS All-Star team and more, and also, another reunion takes place between the coaching staff and the captain of the All-Star team, Luciano Acosta.

The first-ever All-Star captain selected by a fan vote, Acosta will have the distinct honor of wearing the Captain Morgan armband during the game, a testament to his leadership that has FC Cincinnati leading the Supporters’ Shield race at the break point for the league. The captain’s armband is a custom armband designed by local DC artist, MasPaz specifically for the event. Acosta will not only be returning to Washinton D.C. for the match but he’ll also be coached by his former teammate Wayne Rooney as well.

The duo lit up the league for D.C. United between 2018 and 2019 before Rooney moved to Derby County and Acosta moved to Atlas. Now reunited, they’ll have a chance to make magic happen again but in a different way as they look to take down Arsenal. In the lead up to the All-Star game, CBS Sports spoke to former LA Galaxy and USMNT midfielder as well as a current broadcaster for the league Cobi Jones about who he is most excited to see during the All-Star game and his answer, hands down, was Acosta.

“We talked about the Captain Morgan MLS fan vote [for the captaincy] and we saw who the fans picked. Luciano Acosta, so that’s who I’m most excited to see,” Jones said. “He’s a fun player to watch and he’s continued to help lead FC Cincinnati through to win games even when other players are gone for international call ups and stuff he’s leading the way so that’s one player that I really want to see.”

With 12 goals and six assists so far this season, Acosta is on pace for his most productive season ever as he continues to step into a leadership role in Cincinnati. Acosta is also someone who shows what is possible by coming to MLS as he is now close to gaining U.S. citizenship. If that’s granted, it could lead to a part where Acosta could represent the USMNT in a similar way to Julian Gressel of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

“It’s fantastic that it gives the opportunity and that it’s there. So many players that come here and have success in the United States have success within MLS and then are finding that there’s the opportunity to play on the national team,” Jones said. That’s special to me and they have the want to play on the national team. So I’m behind that.”

If Acosta is able to represent the Red, White, and Blue he could add a different creative dimension to the national team but first up will be pushing the MLS All-Stars past Arsenal on Wednesday and then leading FC Cincinnati to glory as well. Acosta’s story is still being written but it’s one that’s trending in a great direction.

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