Meet Kellyn Acosta: parents, ethnic background, and nationality

Silvester Gachinga

US senior men’s team player Kellyn Acosta made history by becoming the first USMNT Asian player to feature in the World Cup.

However, his darker skin tone fuelled a flurry of wide speculation questioning his Japanese and Latino heritage.

Kellyn Acosta’s parents are Kennith Acosta and Kanikah Perry. Here are more details about Acosta and his background.

Kellyn Acosta’s profile summary

Full name:Kellyn Kai Perry Acosta
Date of birth:24th July 1995
Zodiac sign:Leo
Place of birth:Plano, Texas, U.S
Current residence:Los Angeles, U.S
Sexuality: Straight
Height in centimetres: 5’10
Height in centimetres:178
Weight in pounds:150
Weight in kilograms:68
Hair color:Black
Eye color:Brown
Mother:Kanikah Perry
Father:Kennith Acosta
Siblings:Kenny and Kenley-Grace 
Partner:Hali Carleton
Children:Emerson Acosta
Net worth:$1 million

He is an American national

Kellyn Kai Perry-Acosta was born on July 24, 1995, in Plano, Texas, United States, to Kennith Acosta and Kanikah Perry.

Kennith Acosta, and Kanikah Perry
Kennith Acosta, and Kanikah Perry. Image: Google/Tampa BayTimes

He is the oldest of their three children, including siblings Kenny and Kenley-Grace. 

However, Kellyn Acosta’s parents divorced shortly after he turned five, and he was sent to live with his grandmother, Mimi, who became his caregiver.

Aside from driving him to and from school, Mimi also taught him much about Japanese culture.

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He is of Japanese and Puerto Rican descent

Kellyn is of mixed-race ethnicity owing to his parents’ Asian, Black, and Latino heritage. His mother, Kanikah Perry, is African American and Puerto Rican.

On the other hand, Kenneth Acosta’s father is Japanese and migrated to the US as a kid. Like many Japanese parents, his engineer father pushed his son to study hard in school just as he did on the pitch.

Ultimately, Kellyn Acosta succeeded on the field and excelled in school, attaining straight As owing to his father’s strict discipline.

He has been a victim of racial abuse

Is Kellyn Acosta Hispanic? Yes, Kellyn Acosta is partly Hispanic, owing to his mother’s Puerto Rican and African American heritage.

His darker skin tone, owing to his mother’s African heritage, made him a reference of ridicule, with many fans questioning his Asian roots.

Moreover, his Mexican stepfather gave Kellyn his last name, Acosta. His stepfather coincidentally played football in the second division and even featured for the Mexican national team. 

Kellyn suffered racial abuse at a young age and even tried to hide his Asian roots in school to avoid bullying by telling his grandmother Mimi had to pick him up at the corner in the car park.

However, he is a US citizen by birth and was raised in the predominantly white area of Plato.

He has been capped 45 times by the US national men’s team

Kellyn Acosta walking with his hands in his pockets
Kellyn Acosta. Image: Instagram/kellynacosta

Kellyn Acosta’s career only kicked on after his strong perseverance amid constant racial discrimination and abuse.

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He is a defensive midfielder who plays for Los Angeles FC in the MLS. He has also played for several other MLS teams, including the Colorado Rapids, Los Angeles FC, and FC Dallas.

Kellyn has also been capped 45 times by the US Men’s National Team, where he made tremendous contributions in their CONCACAF Gold Cup and CONCACAF Nations League triumphs in 2017, 2021, and 2019-20, respectively.

Kellyn Acosta’s parents’ multiracial heritage strongly indicates how multifaceted and liberal the US society is.



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