The Whitecaps announced the trade of Kekuta Manneh this afternoon, to Columbus Crew in exchange for Tony Tchani and $300,000. Tchani is a box-to-box type midfielder with over 172 MLS appearances. The 27 year old midfielder has 10 goals and 21 assists during that time. The 22 year old winger Manneh has 101 appearances, scoring 22 goals and 12 assists. Manneh’s contract was set to run out at the end of the year. It’s also worth noting that if Columbus sign Manneh to a new contract, the Whitecaps will receive the Crew’s first round SuperDraft pick.
The Whitecaps are getting quite a lot for Manneh, considering he was nearing the end of his contract. While Manneh’s start to the year was slow, despite netting a goal against the New York Red Bulls in the first game of the CONCACAF Champions League, he was a creative spark offensively for the Caps. The team had an abundance of wingers, with the likes of Cristhian Techera, Mauro Rosales, Alphonso Davies, Christian Bolaños, and Brek Shea, and a severe lack of midfield creativity. While Tchani’s stats don’t necessarily spark excitement, he’s definitely an apt addition to the midfield and will hopefully turn the Whitecaps fortunes around. It’s also worth noting that the Whitecaps front office have stated they will use the money received to acquire another forward.