The speedy, U.S.-eligible winger returns to MLS with the expansion side in Cincinnati.

By Avi Creditor
February 13, 2019

Kekuta Manneh is back in MLS, and he's joining the league's newest team.

FC Cincinnati completed a trade with the Columbus Crew for the MLS rights to Manneh, who had most recently been with FC St. Gallen in Switzerland's top flight. FCC sent $250,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $50,000 in General Allocation Money (and the potential for $50,000 more of each depending on performance incentives) to Columbus for Manneh, a speedy, U.S.-eligible winger who spent five seasons in MLS prior to joining Pachuca in Liga MX (following a trial with Union Berlin in Germany) in January 2018. Six months later, he was off to Switzerland, and seven months after that, he's back, with playing time hard to come by since his departure from North America.

Manneh made a name for himself with the Vancouver Whitecaps–where current FCC coach Alan Koch used to be the club's USL team coach–and had 26 goals and 15 assists in 120 appearances between Vancouver and the Crew.

“We are excited to bring Kekuta to Cincinnati,” Koch said in a statement. “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, 24, was born in Gambia but secured U.S. citizenship in January 2017 and was included in Bruce Arena's training camp that month. He has yet to earn a cap with the national team.

He joins an attack that includes Jamaican international striker Darren Mattocks, veteran Nigerian forward Fanendo Adi and 2018 USL MVP Emmanuel Ledesma.

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