The Argentine midfielder sat out United’s preseason opener Saturday against second-division Bethlehem Steel in Clearwater, Fla., after returning from France late the previous night. A potential multimillion-dollar move to the French titan failed to beat the transfer deadline.
Acosta started in the heart of the attack, flanked by Zoltan Stieber and Paul Arriola, who reported to camp this week after spending almost a month with the U.S. national team. Defensive midfielder Russell Canouse (U.S.) and left back Joseph Mora (Costa Rica) also made their preseason debuts after serving international duty.
Wayne Rooney, who left the first preseason game after 18 minutes with a bruised shin, did not start and entered in the 63rd minute. With the English star watching in the first half, midfielder Ulises Segura started upfront.
Forward Kyle Murphy, seeking to earn a contract with United or second-division affiliate Loudoun United, hit the crossbar late in the match.
Nazmi Albadawi equalized for Cincinnati in the 82nd minute.
Bill Hamid and Chris Seitz shared D.C.'s goalkeeping chores.
Coach Ben Olsen started his first-choice back line: Mora and Leonardo Jara on the corners with Steve Birnbaum and Frederic Brillant in the middle. Canouse partnered with Junior Moreno in the defensive midfield behind Acosta.
In the second half, Donovan Pines and Jalen Robinson paired in central defense, flanked by rookie Akeem Ward on the left and trialist Colton Storm on the right. Chris Durkin and academy player Bryang Kayo replaced Canouse and Moreno.
Argentine newcomer Lucas Rodriguez and homegrown Antonio Bustamante did not play. Leandro Alves and Shinya Kadono, United’s second-round draft picks who are fighting for roster slots, entered in the second half.
The match capped the first phase of training camp in the Tampa area. United will return to Washington on Friday for a weekend of rest and indoor workouts Monday and Tuesday. The delegation will then resume Florida training and play three matches: at the second-division Tampa Bay Rowdies on Feb. 16 in St. Petersburg, vs. the Philadelphia Union on Feb. 20 in Clearwater and vs. the Montreal Impact on Feb. 23 in St. Petersburg.