Kekuta Manneh Sees Debut In Loss To New York City FC

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 18: Vancouver Whitecaps forward Kekuta Manneh (23) looks to make a pass as Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley (4) defends during their match at BC Place on March 18, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. Toronto won 2-0. (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire)

Kekuta Manneh has been the subject of attention for quite some time now. He came to Columbus on a transfer involving midfielder Tony Tchani. Now, Tchani has seen the field for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Manneh had yet to step foot on the MAPFRE Stadium pitch up until Saturday night.

Kekuta Manneh Saw His Debut Come To Life In Loss

Manneh entered the game in the 81st minute to replace winger Ethan Finlay. This appearance marked Manneh’s debut in a Black and Gold kit. But it wasn’t what he was hoping for.

Columbus ended up losing to New York City FC by a score of 3-2.

Why Did It Take This Long For Manneh?

Head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter didn’t just trade away Tchani and $225,000 in TAM (Target Allocation Money) for nothing. He saw what Manneh could bring. That’s why the trade occurred. But why did it take this long for Manneh to get some playing time?

According to Gregg Berhalter, Manneh’s fitness had not been where Berhalter wanted it to be. Berhalter wanted Manneh to be fit along with the rest of the squad. This would require more training and more conditioning.

Manneh wasn’t happy but complied anyway.

Fans were hoping to see Manneh make his debut last weekend against the New York Red Bulls. But Manneh did not travel with the team. Instead, Berhalter had him stay back in Columbus to train. Manneh took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.

Patrick Murphy of Massive Report had the tweet in his article. You can find it by clicking here.

It’s only a matter of time when Crew SC fans will see the Gambian forward on the pitch again. Columbus has two more home games coming up in their three-game home stand. The next match is against the New England Revolution on May 6th.

Will Manneh make the starting 11, or be another substitute?