Just over one year ago, on May 11, 2019, Lalas Abubakar made his Rapids debut against Real Salt Lake. Over the last year, the 25-year-old center back has made 24 appearances, playing a total of 2,160 minutes for the club and has proved to be crucial to the success of the Colorado defense. ColoradoRapids.com caught up with Abubakar to discuss how this past year has been and what he is looking forward to the most when MLS returns.
ColoradoRapids.com: What were you thinking when you heard the news that you were coming to the Colorado Rapids?
Abubakar: I was really happy and excited. When I heard the news, I left Columbus, and, the following day, when I arrived in Colorado, I trained the same day. I got ready for the weekend and that was when we played Real Salt Lake. It was a derby game, so I was pumped. I came out on Saturday and had fun and played my heart out. Unfortunately, we did not get a win, but, right away, I felt like this was the place I wanted to be.
ColoradoRapids.com: Did you connect with your teammates right away?
Abubakar: We have a great group of guys. We are willing to fight for each other, sacrifice for each other, so it was definitely a good feeling to come to an environment like this. All the guys are in it together. I love waking up every day and going to the stadium.
ColoradoRapids.com: Head coach Robin Fraser came in halfway into your first year with the Rapids. How has the team shifted since he arrived?
Abubakar: He has great ideas. Everyone respects his ideas and loves what he brought to the team.
ColoradoRapids.com: What is the team and your individual goals moving forward?
Abubakar: When I came in last year, my goal was to help the team reach playoffs, but we fell short. So, one of my main goals this year is to take the Rapids to the playoffs. I always say the team comes first. So, like I said, I want to help the team and help my teammates make the playoffs. Individually, I always want to defend well. Play my heart out in every single game for the fans and win a lot of games, as much as we can. Also, anytime I am on the field, one of my main goals is to get a lot of shutouts and not to concede goals.
ColoradoRapids.com: What do you miss and what excites you about getting back with the team to start playing again?
Abubakar: I miss soccer. I miss playing. I miss waking up every day and going to the stadium and seeing the guys. It’s something that I am looking forward too. Hopefully very soon we are back on the pitch again, and I am very excited for that.
ColoradoRapids.com: What is your message to the fans during this time?
Abubakar: What I would want to say is continue to stay safe. They should look forward for us to come back. We will be coming back stronger. Get ready for the return to play. We are going to be playing our hearts out for them and continue to win games for them, as much as we can.