2018 (Columbus): Lalas Abubakar has made 22 regular-season appearances (20 starts as a center back) for Crew SC this season, registering one goal. He was named to the MLS Team of the Week after playing all 90 minutes in the first match of the season on the road against Toronto FC (March 3). Abubakar started in the following four consecutive matches from a home match against the Montreal Impact (March 10) to a home match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC (March 31). He returned to the starting lineup and played all 90 minutes in a home match against the San Jose Earthquakes (April 28). Following his start in a road contest against Seattle Sounders FC (May 5), Abubakar was named to MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week. Abubakar scored the game-winning goal off of a corner kick in the 85th minute of a road match against the New England Revolution (May 19). Since, he started in consecutive matches from a road contest against Sporting Kansas City (May 27) to a road match against Los Angeles FC (June 23). Abubakar made a substitute appearance the following week in a home match against Real Salt Lake (June 30). He started in an international friendly at home against Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa (July 3). Abubakar returned to the starting lineup in a road match against the LA Galaxy (July 7), and he came on as a substitute in a road match against the New York Red Bulls (July 28). He started in a road match against Atlanta United FC (August 19), and returned to the starting lineup in a home match against New York City FC (September 1). Abubakar started in road matches against FC Dallas (September 15) and the Portland Timbers (September 19), and he started in a home match against the Philadelphia Union (September 29).
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 earned MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week honors for his performance in a home match against the Chicago Fire (August 12). Abubakar started in the road match against Orlando City SC (August 19) and scored his first MLS and Crew SC career goal. Abubakar made three appearances (one start) at centerback in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. While on loan with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, he made five appearances (all starts).
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.