Kekuta Manneh is on his way to Columbus Crew SC.
The club announced Thursday afternoon it acquired Manneh from the Vancouver Whitecaps. In exchange, they sent defensive midfielder Tony Tchani to Vancouver along with $225,000 in targeted allocation money, $75,000 in general allocation money and future considerations.
— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) March 30, 2017
Columbus Crew SC Acquires Kekuta Manneh From Vancouver Whitecaps
“First and foremost we would like to thank Tony Tchani for his significant contribution to the club throughout his time here,” head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter said in a team release. “Tony has been a consummate professional and we wish him all the best moving forward.”
Manneh is currently in the last year of his contract. If Crew SC signs him to a new deal, the Whitecaps will receive Columbus’ natural first round selection in the following SuperDraft. In the event Manneh gets traded outside of MLS prior to December 31, 2018, Vancouver will retain a percentage of the transfer fee paid to acquire him.
“We take pride in our identity as an attacking team, so we are excited to announce the addition of Kekuta Manneh, one of the most dynamic, young, offensive players in Major League Soccer and a new addition to the U.S. Soccer National Team program,” Berhalter noted. “Kekuta complements the existing corps of attacking players on our roster and we expect him to play an important role with the club this season.”
The 22-year-old Manneh is currently in his fifth season in Major League Soccer. The Whitecaps drafted him fourth overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. During his rookie season, he became the youngest player in league history at 18 years and 283 days old to record a hat trick. He did so in the ‘Caps 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders on October 10, 2013.
Manneh has seen time at youth international level with Gambia’s under-20 national team. But he’s now a promising young attacking player for the USMNT after recently earning his American citizenship. Manager Bruce Arena called him into the squad for their January camp.
Crew SC’s 2017 campaign continues on Saturday as they welcome Orlando City SC to town. The match kicks off at 4 PM ET and will be nationally televised on Spanish language network Univision Deportes.