Columbus Crew retains Ghanaian trio for 2018 Major League Soccer campaign

Trevor Ruszkowski
The US side have confirmed the availability of Harrison Afful, Mohammed Abu and Lalas Abubakar for next season

Ghana trio Harrison Afful, Mohammed Abu and Lalas Abubakar will again defend the colours of Major League Soccer side Columbus Crew next season as the club have announced exercising their contract options.

The three men, who played instrumental roles as the Black and Gold reached the MLS Eastern Conference final, are among nine players to have had their deals renewed.

This has taken Crew's roster to 19 for next season so far as 10 players, including compatriot Jonathan Mensah, were already under contract for 2018.

“Preparations for 2018 are underway and we are pleased to bring back the core of this year’s roster for next year,” Crew sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said, as reported by the club's official website.

“We came just short of our goal of returning to MLS Cup, but will look to continue to shape our roster in an effort to improve for the 2018 campaign.”

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Afful was initially snapped up by Crew in July 2015 while Abu, Lalas and Mensah joined in January this year.

The quartet, all defenders, tallied a combined 93 league appearances and four goals for the Black and Gold last season.