Columbus Crew SC announced today that forward Kekuta Manneh has joined the club from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for midfielder Tony Tchani, $225,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $75,000 in General Allocation Money. If Crew SC chooses to sign a new contract with Manneh, who is in the last year of his contract, Vancouver will gain Columbus’ natural first round MLS SuperDraft selection in the next draft. Whitecaps FC will also receive additional General Allocation Money if Manneh is traded by Columbus before December 31, 2018 and Vancouver is due a percentage of any future transfer fee should the player be transferred outside of MLS.
Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter released a statement saying, “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. 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.”
Manneh, 22, is now in his fifth Major League Soccer season and has made 101 regular-season appearances. He has a record of scoring 22 goals and providing 12 assists. Since joining MLS ahead of the 2013 season, there have only been three other players who have scored more goals from fast breaks than Manneh’s four goals. He has also completed the seventh highest number of dribbles at 155. During his rookie season alone, the forward made 20 appearances (six starts), with six goals and two assists. He became the youngest player in 2013 to score a hat trick in MLS when he scored three goals in the first 53 minutes during a match with Seattle.
Following his rookie season, the forward made 29 appearances (13 starts) in 2014, with four goals and two assists. In 2015, Manneh played a vital role in Vancouver’s win during the Amway Canadian Championship while setting a career best in appearances (32), starts (28), goals (seven), and assists (six). The 2016 MLS season started off similarly, with the player scoring five goals and two assists through 17 appearances. However, he was absent for the rest of the year due to an injury during a match against the Colorado Rapids on July 10.
This weekend, Crew SC hosts Orlando City SC at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday, April 1, 2017 in the first of three regular-season meetings between the clubs this year (4:00 p.m. ET / Unimas, Univision Deportes Facebook Page, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream available on ColumbusCrewSC.com).
Photo courtesy of ISI