Cincinnati, Ohio (Feb. 13, 2019) — Newly minted MLS squad FC Cincinnati keep bolstering their inaugural roster as they announced the signing of former Columbus Crew SC midfielder Kekuta Manneh.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) February 13, 2019
In exchange for the rights of the speedy winger, Columbus received up to $400,000 in allocation money from their noisy neighbors down I-71 South.
Columbus will also receive an additional $100,000 ($50,000 in TAM and $50,000 in GAM) should Manneh reach certain performance conditions during his time with the FC Cincinnati for the 2019 MLS season.
FC Cincinnati Acquire Kekuta Manneh
Manneh was part of the Columbus Crew in 2017 when he arrived by trade in March. His time with Crew SC was short. However, he was able to make 19 appearances (nine starts) and record four goals with three assists.
The 24-year old Gambian native returns to MLS on a free transfer from Swiss Super League side FC St. Gallen. He started the 2018 year with CF Pachuca from Liga MX.
“We are excited to bring Kekuta to Cincinnati,” said head coach Alan Koch. “His pace and skill on the ball will add a dynamic element to our group when attacking in the final third. He has had success in MLS and we know he will embrace the unique challenge of joining an expansion team.”
Manneh earned his U.S. citizenship in January 2017, and was called into his first U.S. Men’s National Team camp in the same month that Bruce Arena was named coach. He was then named to the training camp roster ahead of a friendly against Paraguay in March 2018.
Meanwhile, before his departure from MLS to Mexico, Manneh made 120 regular-season appearances, with 71 of those being starts. He tallied up 26 goals and tacked on 15 assists during his five seasons in MLS.
The season he produced the biggest numbers was in 2015 when he was with the Vancouver Whitecaps. In that time, Manneh scored seven goals and added on six assists while making 32 regular-season appearances.
Columbus opens their 2019 MLS campaign on March 2 against the New York Red Bulls, while FC Cincinnati travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Sounders FC, March 2.
PHOTO: Kekuta Manneh of the Columbus Crew SC gets past New England Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe during a regular-season MLS match between the New England Revolution and Columbus Crew SC on May 21, 2017, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Revolution defeated the Crew 2-1. Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.