2017 (Columbus): Abubakar made seven appearances (six starts) for Crew SC this season, all at centerback, and scored one goal. He made his MLS and Crew SC regular-season debut in a road match against Minnesota United FC (July 4), playing the entire 90 minutes. Abubakar started in Crew SC’s international friendly match at home against Eintracht Frankfurt (July 14). He started in a home match against the Philadelphia Union (July 22). Abubakar started and received a red card in a road match against the Philadelphia Union (July 26) and subsequently missed the following road match against Real Salt Lake (July 29). He returned to the starting lineup in a home match against the Chicago Fire (August 12), earning MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week honors for his performance. Abubakar started in the road match against Orlando City SC (August 19) and scored his first MLS and Crew SC career goal. Abubakar made a substitute appearance in a home match against FC Dallas (August 26). He returned to the starting lineup in a road match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC (September 16). Abubakar made three appearances (one start) at centerback in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. He came on as a substitute in a home match against New York City FC (October 31) in the First Leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, in a road contest against New York City FC (November 5) in the Second Leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and started in a road contest against Toronto FC (November 29) in the Second Leg of the Eastern Conference Championship.
While on loan with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, he has made five appearances (all starts). He started for the Riverhounds in a road match against the Charleston Battery (April 8), in home matches against Louisville City FC (May 21) and Orlando City B (June 3) and in a road match against Toronto FC II (June 10). He started against the Tampa Bay Rowdies (June 22).
Abubakar played three seasons at the University of Dayton, making 61 appearances (60 starts), scoring four goals and recording six assists during his time there. He was chosen as the Atlantic 10 Conference Defender of the Year, making the Second Team NSCAA All-Midwest Region and the First Team Atlantic 10 All-Conference his senior year (2016). The previous year, the defender was named the Dayton Defensive Player of the Year in addition to earning First Team All-Ohio and First Team Atlantic 10 All-Conference Team honors (2015). In his first season with the Dayton Flyers, Abubakar made the Second Team All-Ohio and the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team (2014). He also played with the Michigan Bucks, winning the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League Championship and being named the USL PDL Defender of the Year (2016).
Abubakar has international experience playing for the Ghana Under-20 National Team.
Name: Lalas Abubakar (ah-BOO-bah-car)
Born: December 25, 1994 in Kumasi, Ghana
Hometown: Kumasi, Ghana
Drafted: Selected in the First Round (Fifth overall) in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft on January 13, 2017
Previous Experience: University of Dayton (2014-2016)
Abubakar is the son of Amida Ahmed and Abubakar Ahmed. He has two younger siblings. Abubakar follows basketball and his hobbies include playing the video game FIFA. Abubakar does not play any other sports and says that sometimes he prefers playing soccer over eating. He enjoys watching the television show Merlin. Growing up, Abubakar looked up to Brazilian National Team and Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva. His favorite soccer memory is winning the 2016 USL PDL Championship with the Michigan Bucks. Abubakar is trilingual and he speaks the following languages: English, Twi and Hausa.