Keita with the United States U20s in 2019.
|Full name||Aboubacar Kobele Keita|
|Date of birth||April 6, 2000|
|Place of birth||New York City, New York, United States|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Columbus Crew SC|
|–2016||Santos Columbus FC|
|2016–2018||Columbus Crew SC|
|2019–||Columbus Crew SC||0||(0)|
|2019||→ Richmond Kickers (loan)||3||(0)|
|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.
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. 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. Keita also trained with the Crew's first team and played against Charleston Battery at the 2018 Carolina Challenge Cup.
In January 2018, Keita took part in his first international camp, training with an assembled United States U19 national team in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Later that month, he committed to play collegiately for coach George Gelnovatch at the University of Virginia.
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. On September 28, he scored his first collegiate goal as part of a 2–0 victory against Pittsburgh. 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. After concluding his lone collegiate season with one goal in 17 appearances, Keita was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team and earned an invite to a camp for the United States U20 national team.
Columbus Crew SC
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. 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.
Loan to Richmond
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. Although he began the season back in Columbus, recuperating from an injury suffered while on international duty, 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.
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; Keita also started three days later against Japan. On May 10, he was named to the final roster for the tournament by head coach Tab Ramos. 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. Throughout the tournament, he was noted to be sound defensively but struggled with distribution.
|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|
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- Patrick Guldan and Pat Murphy (January 21, 2019). "Crew signs Aboubacar Keita to Homegrown contract". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
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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.
- Wood, Patrick (April 27, 2019). "Kickers down Chattanooga for second straight win". RichmondKickers.com. Richmond Kickers. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
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- 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.
- "United States 1–2 Ecuador". FIFA.com. FIFA. June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
- 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.
- 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.
- Muncy, Alex (June 12, 2019). "USA U-20 2019 World Cup: Post Mortem". StarsandStripesFC.com. SB Nation. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
- Aboubacar Keita at Soccerway. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Aboubacar Keita at Major League Soccer
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