Columbus Crew SC Homegrown Player Aboubacar Keita earned caps in each of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s recent friendlies versus France and Japan, highlighted by a game-tying assist in the squad’s 2-2 draw against France on March 22 before making the Starting XI in a 2-1 victory over Japan on March 25.
Down 1-2 to France after a goal from teammate and Barcelona U-19 player Konrad De La Fuenta, Keita delivered the game-tying assist with a cut-back pass to teammate Christian Cappis (Hobro IK), who finished it from just outside the six-yard-box.
Against Japan, Keita, a left-footed center back, was a part of the Starting XI and played for the duration of the first half before subbing out for Chris Gloster (Hannover 96 II) at halftime. The match was scoreless through the opening 45 minutes before second-half goals from Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United FC) and Cappis led the Stars and Stripes to victory.
Notably, both France and Japan have qualified for the 2019 U-20 World Cup, which is set to be hosted in Poland. The U.S., which qualified for the World Cup last November, kicks off Group D play against Ukraine on May 24 before facing Nigeria (May 27) and Qatar (30). This was the group’s final camp before the World Cup.