The Vancouver Whitecaps have parted ways with speedy winger Kekuta Manneh, dealing the 22-year-old to Columbus Crew SC in exchange for Tony Tchani and a combined $300,000 in allocation money.
Manneh, who earned his U.S. citizenship and is en route to becoming eligible to play for the United States, leaves one talented attacked corps for another in Columbus, which parts ways with Tchani, $225,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $75,000 in General Allocation Money in the deal.
Manneh is in the last year of his contract, and should he re-sign in Columbus, the Whitecaps will also receive Crew SC's natural first-round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. The Whitecaps will also receive general allocation money if Manneh is traded again prior to December 31, 2018, and the 'Caps will retain an undisclosed percentage of any transfer fee if Manneh is transferred outside of MLS.
Manneh has 22 goals and 12 assists in his 101-game MLS career to date, but has yet to score or assist in three games (two starts) this season. Tchani went from lineup mainstay in central midfield to afterthought in Columbus, where he hasn't played yet this season.
“Tony has been a consummate professional and we wish him all the best moving forward," Columbus manager Gregg Berhalter said in a statement. “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 will join Ethan Finlay, Justin Meram, Federico Higuain and Ola Kamara in Columbus's attack, while his departure in Vancouver opens space for the likes of dynamic 16-year-old Alphonso Davies to have a greater role.