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Rapids add Aboubacar Keita from Crew

The 21-year-old MLS Cup winner will strengthen Colorado’s backline

Defenseman Aboubacar Keita
Colorado Rapids

For the second time in just a few years, the Colorado Rapids added to their backline via the Columbus Crew. This time, the Burgundy Boys will welcome Aboubacar Keita in exchange for $300,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), which could become $450,000 if certain marks are met, according to the club.

Keita, 21, joins the ‘Pids after a successful stint in Ohio, where the homegrown contributed to the 2020 MLS Cup and 2021 Campeones Cup winners. In his past four seasons, all with the Crew, he logged 2,695 minutes across 37 appearances.

Outside of MLS, the New Yorker has represented the United States at the youth level, making eight appearances with the U.S. U-20 Youth National Team, including five, all starts, at the 2019 U-20 World Cup.

“Bouba is a young, athletic player who is comfortable on the ball and has all the attributes to become a physically dominant defender,” said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager in a news release. “We are committed to targeting the best young players in the domestic market, and in Keita, we believe we have acquired a player with significant upside who is only beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.”

Smith made a splash a few years ago when the Rapids acquired Lalas Abubakar from the Ohio side.

Abubakar and Keita will make up a backline that also features Keegan Rosenberry, Auston Trusty and Danny Wilson. Homegrown youngsters Seb Anderson and Michael Edwards could also contribute in 2022. And don’t forget the recently acquired Lucas Esteves, who had a strong close to 2021.