|SQUAD STATUS||Regular Starter|
|KEY 2019 STATS||6.5 clearances/90; 1.7 tackles/90|
Season in a Sentence
Lalas Abubakar’s midseason arrival brought a tenacity in last-ditch defending which redefined Colorado’s defense after Anthony Hudson’s departure.
Abubakar joined the Rapids on loan from Columbus a third of the way into the season, became a fan favorite, and immediately helped to right Colorado’s defense.
Under both Conor Casey and Robin Fraser, the Ghanaian excelled at bailing the Rapids out of tense situations. His 6.5 clearances per 90 is among the best in the league. Things weren’t all perfect for Abubakar, though. He conceded two critical penalties amidst Colorado’s turnaround that led to dropped points on the road.
After his permanent transfer from the Crew at the end of 2019, Abubakar will look to improve his play with a new partner in central defense. While the past season offered Abubakar the opportunity to consistently play with Tommy Smith, his departure and other moves at the back will require Abubakar to develop chemistry with Auston Trusty, Drew Moor, and Kortne Ford.
There’s also the broader defensive issues on the team that force Abubakar to make so many last-ditch clearances in the first place. 2020 will show whether Robin Fraser can put his defenders in a position where high-flying reckless challenges are less necessary to keep games alive.
Next: Kellyn Acosta
Image Credit: Colorado Rapids