Major League Soccer

Aboubacar Keita completes transfer from Columbus Crew to Colorado Rapids

Chris Smith
Keita won MLS Cup with the Crew
Keita won MLS Cup with the Crew / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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The Colorado Rapids have strengthened their defensive ranks with the signing of Aboubacar Keita from the Columbus Crew.

Colorado will pay an initial $300k in General Allocation Money (GAM) for Keita's services, with the Crew receiving a further $150k GAM should the center-back meet certain performance criteria during the 2022 MLS season.

“Bouba is a young, athletic player who is comfortable on the ball and has all the attributes to become a physically dominant defender,” Colorado Rapids executive vice president and general manager Pádraig Smith said in an official club press 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.” 

Born in New York, Keita is the product of the Columbus Crew academy, signing a homegrown deal with the Ohio club in 2019. The 21-year-old has 42 senior appearances for Columbus under his belt, including 12 in 2020 as the Crew won MLS Cup. Keita has been capped eight times for the United States at U-20 level.

“From the time he joined the Academy in 2016 to helping us capture MLS Cup in 2020 and the Campeones Cup last September, Bouba’s hard work and dedication on and off the field has been truly appreciated. We wish him all the best in Colorado,” said Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko.

Keita will join Lalas Abubakar, Danny Wilson, and Auston Trusty on one of the strongest center-back line-ups in MLS right now.

During the 2021 season, the Rapids conceded just 35 goals in the regular season as they finished top of the Western Conference - only the Seattle Sounders, New York Red Bulls, and Nashville SC allowed fewer (all 33).

Colorado begin their 2022 campaign away at Los Angeles FC on February 26.

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