Kellyn Acosta is one of the best players in his position in MLS, and according to USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter, one of the best in the country. At 27, Acosta is an MLS product through and through after successful stints with FC Dallas, Colorado Rapids, and now LAFC.

On the international front Acosta has played 52 times for the USMNT scoring 2 goals and winning three championships with his country. Nonetheless, on USMNT Twitter the accomplishments of Acosta are brushed over.

For a reason hard to explain, USMNT fans are divided over the importance of players playing in Europe to those playing in MLS. Some fans believe that MLS players have no place or are simply not good enough to play on the USMNT, or any national team for that matter. In an interview with Soccer America, Acosta spoke on the stigma of being an international soccer player in Major League Soccer.

Kellyn Acosta on USMNT anti- MLS fans

“I don't want to open up a whole can of worms, and I'm not trying to stir the pot by any means, but people have a negative outlook on MLS. They automatically think that if you're from MLS, you're not good enough. And that if you're in Europe, you have to be in the team.

 

“That's not necessarily the case by any means. People fail to understand that. Nowadays it's just trendy to say that. I get it, but they use the results of the team and MLS players as scapegoats. If the game isn't going well, it's because of someone from MLS. But if so-and-so was there, it wouldn't happen. It's a coulda-shoulda-woulda — kind of frustrating, but that's football and you have to deal with it.

“Instead of praying on the downfall of players on the team, if you really uplift, promote and help them, I'm sure we would have a stronger team. It's crazy — people want to see certain guys fail so bad just to prove their point. But it's like, don't you want the team to do well?”

Acosta’s feelings have been replicated by other national team players both on the USMNT and other national teams. Carlos Valderrama, legendary midfielder of the Colombian national team, defended MLS while he played for Colombia prior to the 1998 World Cup.

Recently Thiago Almada of Atlanta United was called up by the Argentine national team and is seen as a future promising prospect. While his chances of making the World Cup squad are thin, he was highly praised by head coach Lionel Scaloni, who is hopeful Almada’s MLS play will transcend into a big move to Europe.

Most of the USMNT players in Europe have either played in MLS or been part of some MLS academy most notably Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie.