Aboubacar Keita

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Aboubacar Keita
Aboubacar Keita (soccer).jpg
Keita with the United States U20s in 2019.
Personal information
Full name Aboubacar Kobele Keita[1]
Date of birth (2000-04-06) April 6, 2000 (age 19)
Place of birth New York City, New York, United States
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Columbus Crew SC
Number 30
Youth career
0000–2016 Santos Columbus FC
2016–2018 Columbus Crew SC
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2018 Virginia Cavaliers 17 (1)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2019– Columbus Crew SC 0 (0)
2019Richmond Kickers (loan) 3 (0)
National team
2019– United States U20 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of May 11, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of June 8, 2019

Aboubacar Kobele Keita (born April 6, 2000) is an American professional soccer player who plays as a defender for Major League Soccer club Columbus Crew SC. He previously spent time on loan with Richmond Kickers

Keita was born in New York City but grew up in Ohio, attending Westerville North High School and playing for the Crew SC Academy. After just one year in college at Virginia, he signed with Columbus Crew SC as the 12th Homegrown Player in club history. Keita made his professional debut in 2019 while on loan to Richmond Kickers in USL League One.

Early life[edit]

Although he was born in New York City, Keita was raised in Guinea, moved to Westerville, Ohio at the age of 10 and attended Westerville North High School. As a sophomore, he was named Honorable Mention All-Ohio Capital Conference while primarily playing as a forward.[2] He joined the Crew Academy in 2016, playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the U16/17 and U18/19 teams and scoring once in 43 appearances.[3] Keita also trained with the Crew's first team and played against Charleston Battery at the 2018 Carolina Challenge Cup.[4]

In January 2018, Keita took part in his first international camp, training with an assembled United States U19 national team in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.[5] Later that month, he committed to play collegiately for coach George Gelnovatch at the University of Virginia.[6]


Keita made his debut for Virginia on August 24, 2018, starting the season-opener against nationally-ranked New Hampshire. He played the full 90 minutes in a 1–0 victory over the Wildcats.[7] On September 28, he scored his first collegiate goal as part of a 2–0 victory against Pittsburgh.[8] Keita appeared in all three postseason games for the Cavaliers, although they lost in the first round of the ACC Men's Soccer Tournament and were eliminated in the third round of the NCAA tournament.[9] After concluding his lone collegiate season with one goal in 17 appearances, Keita was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team[10] and earned an invite to a camp for the United States U20 national team.[11]

Club career[edit]

Columbus Crew SC[edit]

On January 22, 2019, Keita was announced as the 12th Homegrown Player (HGP) signing in Columbus Crew SC history. He became the third HGP on the roster for Columbus' 2019 season, joining Wil Trapp and Alex Crognale.[12] Keita had attended his first Crew game at the age of 12 and as a Crew Academy player had previously trained with the first team in prior years.[13]

Loan to Richmond[edit]

In a bid to get acclimated to the professional game, Keita was sent on loan to USL League One club Richmond Kickers on March 6, 2019. The loan was for the duration of the 2019 USL League One season, with Columbus able to recall him at any point during the year.[14] Although he began the season back in Columbus, recuperating from an injury suffered while on international duty,[15] Keita made his professional debut on April 27. Against Chattanooga Red Wolves, he replaced Scott Thomsen in the 77th minute and helped Richmond see out a 1–0 victory.[16]

International career[edit]

Keita was the fifth Homegrown Player in Crew SC history to play for the U20s, following Wil Trapp, Chad Barson, Matt Wiet, and Ben Swanson.

After earning previous camp call-ups for the United States U17, U18, and U19 national teams, Keita earned his first youth caps with the United States U20 team in March of 2019. In the team's final camp ahead of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, he came off the bench against France on March 22 and provided Christian Cappis with a match-tying assist in second-half stoppage time;[17] Keita also started three days later against Japan.[18] On May 10, he was named to the final roster for the tournament by head coach Tab Ramos.[19] Keita started all five games for the United States, playing every minute of the tournament until being subbed off in the 86th minute of the team's quarterfinal match against Ecuador.[20] Throughout the tournament, he was noted to be sound defensively but struggled with distribution.[21][22][23]

Career statistics[edit]

As of May 11, 2019[24][25]
Club Season League Playoffs Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Columbus Crew SC 2019 MLS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Richmond Kickers (loan) 2019 USL League One 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Career total 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0




  1. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA.com. FIFA. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "OCC releases all-league teams". ThisWeekNews.com. GateHouseMedia. November 6, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Murphy, Pat (January 22, 2019). "Crew officially signs Aboubacar Keita to Homegrown contract". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Hudak, Nick (February 1, 2019). "Keita is happy to be home, ready to get to work with the Crew". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  5. ^ "First ever U.S. Soccer men's YNT summit brings 153 players together in single camp". USSoccer.com. U.S. Soccer Federation. January 4, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  6. ^ Shealer, Sheldon (January 29, 2018). "Recruiting Roundup: Jan. 29-Feb. 4". TopDrawerSoccer.com. TopDrawerSoccer. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "Bell Scores Game-Winner in Closing Seconds for Season Opening Win". VirginiaSports.com. Virginia Athletics. August 24, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Shiers, Mike (September 28, 2018). "#11 UVa Men's Soccer Team Beats Pitt 2-0 to Remain Undefeated". NBC29.com. WVIR-TV NBC 29. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  9. ^ "Aboubacar Keita – Virginia profile". VirginiaSports.com. Virginia Athletics. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Shiers, Mike (November 7, 2018). "Cavaliers Place Six on Men's Soccer All-ACC Teams". NBC29.com. WVIR-TV NBC 29. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  11. ^ "Three-team training camp kicks of 2019 for U.S. men's youth national teams". USSoccer.com. U.S. Soccer Federation. January 4, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  12. ^ Patrick Guldan and Pat Murphy (January 21, 2019). "Crew signs Aboubacar Keita to Homegrown contract". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  13. ^ Jardy, Adam (January 26, 2019). "Just 18, defender Aboubacar Keita learning the ropes". Dispatch.com. GateHouse Media. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  14. ^ Wood, Patrick (March 6, 2019). "Aboubacar Keita joins Richmond on loan from Columbus Crew SC". RichmondKickers.com. Richmond Kickers. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  15. ^ Reynolds, Nathan (April 23, 2019). "Three takeaways from the Richmond Kickers' 1-0 victory over Greenville". BGN.fm. Beautiful Game Network. Retrieved April 27, 2019. The club confirmed today that Keita is still in Columbus with the Crew as he recovers from an injury sustained with the USMNT U-20.
  16. ^ Wood, Patrick (April 27, 2019). "Kickers down Chattanooga for second straight win". RichmondKickers.com. Richmond Kickers. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  17. ^ "Second-half comeback boosts U-20 MNT to 2–2 draw with France". USSoccer.com. United States Soccer Federation. March 22, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "U.S. U-20 MNT takes down Japan 2–1 in Spain". USSoccer.com. United States Soccer Federation. March 25, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  19. ^ Murphy, Pat (May 10, 2019). "Crew's Aboubacar Keita called up to 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup U.S. team". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  20. ^ "United States 1–2 Ecuador". FIFA.com. FIFA. June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  21. ^ Murphy, Pat (June 9, 2019). "The highs and lows of Aboubacar Keita's U-20 World Cup". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  22. ^ Doyle, Matthew (June 13, 2019). "Armchair Analyst: U-20s post-mortem, and what's to come for the USMNT". MLSSoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  23. ^ Muncy, Alex (June 12, 2019). "USA U-20 2019 World Cup: Post Mortem". StarsandStripesFC.com. SB Nation. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  24. ^ Aboubacar Keita at Soccerway. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  25. ^ Aboubacar Keita at Major League Soccer

External links[edit]