COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that defender Aboubacar Keita has received an international call-up from the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team. Keita is one of 21 players named to the U.S. roster and is set to join the American squad ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, which runs from May 23 - June 15.
“We are proud that Aboubacar is among the 21 players named to represent the United States on the world’s stage at the Under-20 FIFA World Cup roster,” said Crew SC President Tim Bezbatchenko. “The fact that one of our Crew SC Academy graduates will feature at the U-20 World Cup in Poland is a testament to the work put in by Aboubacar and of course our Academy and First Team staff over the years. Today is certainly a proud moment for the Black & Gold family.”
The U.S. is in Group B, alongside Nigeria, Qatar and Ukraine. The Stars and Stripes are set to face Ukraine on Friday, May 24 at Bielsko-Biala Stadium in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, to begin the tournament. The Americans then play against Nigeria on Monday, May 27, in Bielsko-Biala Stadium, before facing Qatar on Thursday, May 30 at Tychy Stadium, Poland, to finish out the Group Stage. For the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the top two teams of each group and the four best third-placed teams are set to advance to the Round of 16.
Keita, 19, is a graduate of the Crew SC Academy, where he played from 2016-2018, featuring for the Under-17/18 and U-18/19 squads. In all, the 19-year-old made 43 appearances (42 starts) for Crew SC Academy, scoring one goal. During his time with the Crew SC Academy, Keita played under Crew SC First Team Assistant Coach Ben Cross. Before he joined Crew SC Academy, Keita played for Santos FC in Columbus.
The defender was signed by the Crew as a Homegrown Player on January 22, 2019. Keita has played on loan with the Richmond Kickers of the USL League One, making two appearances (one start). Prior to joining the Crew SC First Team, Keita started every match for the University of Virginia in 2018, making 17 appearances (all starts) and scoring one goal. At the international level, Keita has also previously featured for the U.S. U-19 side.