USMNT Hopeful Kekuta Manneh Joins Pachuca From Columbus Crew SC
Liga MX side Pachuca have landed 22-year-old winger Kekuta Manneh on a free transfer after the USMNT hopeful turned down the Columbus Crew’s contract offer, electing to continue his development abroad after five years of play in Major League Soccer.
¡Welcome @kekuta16!El delantero Kekuta Manneh es nuestro refuerzo de cara al Clausura 2018 proveniente de la MLS.#TeJuroQueTeAmo pic.twitter.com/ObVwGvo96K
— Club Pachuca (@Tuzos) December 26, 2017
Manneh began his MLS career with the Vancouver Whitecaps before the Crew sent $300,000 in allocation money and midfielder Tony Tchani to the Caps in 2017 in exchange for the electrifying winger. However, Manneh was unable to recapture the form that saw him labelled one of the league’s most promising talents back in 2015, a season in which he scored seven goals and added six assists in 32 games.
The winger appeared in 24 matches for the Crew, including five playoff appearances off the bench during the club’s run to the Eastern Conference final, but he only logged nine starts while scoring four goals.
— Cultura Futbolera (@CulturaFutbolCF) December 27, 2017
Manneh was born in Gambia but moved to the United States in 2010. Having obtained his U.S. citizenship in 2016, he was among the 32 players called in by Bruce Arena for the 2017 USMNT January Camp. However, Manneh is yet to receive his first international cap.
The Liga MX Clausura season begins in January after Pachuca finished 12th in the Apertura, failing to qualify for the playoffs after winning only five of their 17 matches. They advanced to the 2017 Apertura Copa MX Final but were defeated 1-0 by Monterrey.
Los Tuzos are desperate to return to winning ways having captured the 2016 Clausura championship and the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League title, and Manneh will add some dynamism to their attack. USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez will likely help him settle at his new club.