Abubakar Lalas: The journey from University of Ghana to MLS
Columbus Crew defender Abubakar Lalas has spoken for the first time on his journey to America and how he realized his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
Lalas who was a pillar at the back of the University of Ghana football team had to switch to Dayton University in America to complete his education after one of his friends who got the chance there recommended him.
“2013, they came up and saw me and liked what they saw. They offered me a full scholarship, but at that time I had a couple opportunities to go to Europe to play. I wanted to go but they didn’t work out, so I ended up coming to the U.S.” Lalas told Pro Soccer
“Every year [Dayton] comes to my university (University of Ghana) to recruit players, to bring one or two guys over…they came in 2012 and picked one of my friends, and when he got [to America] he tried to talk to them and said, ‘Hey, there’s this guy who is really good, so if you have a chance you might want to go look at him,”
“Leaving Ghana, coming to the U.S., I didn’t know anybody, so I wanted to go to a place where I had one or two familiar faces…you just need to adjust and go with it.”
”Dayton is not a really big school but it’s a very good community. They have a very good tradition down there.”
Abubakar mentioned that he was glad when Columbus Crew who then had the Ghanaian duo of Jonathan Mensah and Harrison Afful signed him in the draft.
“When I was sitting in the draft room and heard Don Garber call my name, I was like, ‘Columbus Crew, wow. Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, this is great.’ Then once I got here they signed Mohammed Abu, and I thought ‘I’m home. I’m happy.’ I grew up watching these guys in the World Cup, so having the privilege to play with them is awesome,” he added.
Abubakar has developed to become one of the best central defenders in the MLS where he has formed an impregnable partnership with Jonathan Mensah at the back for Columbus Crew.