How Ghana’s Lalas Abubakar eased into Columbus Crew’s tough playing system

Ghanaian defender Lalas Abubakar has proven to be one of the best in the MLS. This wasn't always like that when he joined Columbus Crew SC.

Selected by the team in the 2017 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, the Ghanaian defender found it difficult to fit in the system of the MLS club.

Columbus Crew SC’s organization and playing system are reported to be one of the most difficult to adapt to and Abubakar’s experience in his early days asserts the fact.

“Last year was hard. I wasn’t so comfortable playing out of the back and the coaches just kept telling what I needed to work on,” the Ghanaian defender told Massive Report in an interview.

“When I arrived from Dayton, it was very different. I knew I was coming to a place where we play soccer, building out of the back, which is something I wasn’t used to. I came here willing to adjust and learn and I continue learning and improving.”

From a statistic of 92.3 percent passing accuracy and rated as the second-best defender in the MLS, Abubakar’s learning process has proved fruitful.

“I had to work on passing out of the back, my first touch and on being calm when I have the ball,” the Columbus Crew defender continued.

“These were the things coaches always talked with me about and I kept working on them during offseason and preseason. I’m getting more comfortable as I play and I’m happy to see my improvement.

“The big thing is seeing who is pressing you. When I get the ball, I know that definitely one of our players will be open and I need to find that player. This is something I have in my mind all the time and I try to work on it every day. It’s not perfect, but I keep working.”

Lalas Abubakar has played all three games for his Columbus Crew SC this season.


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