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Lalas Abubakar seals permanent deal with Colorado, Danladi joins Accam at Nashville


Major League Soccer (MLS) side Colorado Rapids have announced that they have acquired Ghanaian defender Lalas Abubakar on a permanent basis, after the player spent most of the 2019 season on loan from Columbus Crew SC, in exchange for $400,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money and a 2020 international roster spot.

Abubakar, 24, made 22 league appearances for Colorado this year, helping take the Rapids defense from woeful to solid and was one of the biggest intraleague loan success stories in league history.

The Ghanaian, drafted No. 5 overall in the 2017 SuperDraft out of Dayton by Columbus, has made 53 MLS regular-season appearances in his career to date, scoring two goals from central defense.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Lalas back,” said Padraig Smith, Colorado Rapids executive vice president and general manager.

“Since joining us last year, Lalas has been an integral part of our team and has established himself as a top defender in MLS. We’re excited to have him with us from the start next year and build on the exceptional season he had in 2019.”

For his part, Lalas thanked Columbus Crew for helping him realize his dream as a professional soccer player.

“When I arrived in America from Ghana, I was warmly welcomed by Ohioans; from going to Dayton to Columbus. Columbus gave me the opportunity to realize my dream of becoming a professional soccer player, and so Ohio will always be my home. But for now, it is time for me to start a new chapter with the Colorado Rapids”, the defender noted.

Meanwhile, striker Abu Danladi will next season join Ghanaian compatriot David Accam at expansion side Nashville SC.

Danladi is regarded as an exciting forward who in three seasons with Minnesota has shown flashes of talent that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2017 SuperDraft. Injuries may have derailed his progress but the young Ghanaian striker has a new challenge in Nashville.

Danladi who confirmed his move thanked his former team Minnesota United for helping him hone his talents.

“Just wanted to say thank you to everyone at Minnesota, from the owners, coaching staff, all the way to my amazing teammates, fans and everyone who got me to this point. It’s been a pleasure these past three years and I am so thankful to Minnesota for giving me this opportunity to start my professional career in your organization.

He was also excited for the new challenge ahead at Nashville and pledged to give his 100% to the new franchise.

“Now a new journey begins with my new family Nashville and I want to say a big thank you to the club and the community for inviting me and welcoming me to be part of this new era of soccer”, Danladi added.

Also joining Accam and Danladi at Nashville is former Philadelphia Union and American youth player with Ghanaian background, Derrick Jones Amaniampong.
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