CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati has signed forward Kekuta Manneh to a contract after acquiring his MLS rights from Columbus Crew SC in exchange for $250,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $50,000 in General Allocation Money. FC Cincinnati could send an additional $100,000 in Allocation Money ($50,000 in TAM & $50,000 in GAM) should certain performance conditions be met.
Manneh, 24, returns to MLS on a free transfer from FC St. Gallen of the Swiss Super League. He finished the 2018 season with FC. St. Gallen after starting the year with CF Pachuca of Liga MX. Manneh previously played five seasons in MLS after starting his North American career with Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2013-17) and Columbus Crew SC (2017).
Born in Gambia, Manneh earned his U.S. citizenship in January 2017 and was called into his first U.S. Men’s National Team camp the same month by Bruce Arena. He was later named to the U.S. training camp roster ahead of a friendly against Paraguay on March 27, 2018, but was not named to the game day roster.
“We are excited to bring Kekuta to Cincinnati,” FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch said. “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."
In 2018, the forward made 15 appearances, including 11 starts, between Pachuca and St. Gallen, and added one assist across all competitions.
Manneh has made 120 MLS regular-season appearances, including 71 starts. He has scored 26 goals and added 15 assists during his five MLS seasons. He has registered a total of seven postseason appearances, including five with Columbus Crew SC in 2017 and two with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2015.
In his most recent MLS season, Manneh made a combined 22 regular-season appearances, including 11 starts with Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Columbus Crew SC after being traded from Vancouver on March 30, 2017. He tallied four goals and added three assists with Crew SC.
Manneh’s most productive MLS season to date came with Vancouver in 2015 when he scored seven goals and added six assists in 32 regular-season appearances.
FC Cincinnati’s debut MLS game will be at Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, March 2, at CenturyLink Field. The Orange and Blue will make its home debut as an MLS team at Nippert Stadium on Sunday, March 17, when the team hosts MLS Cup finalist Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. Season tickets, mini plans and individual-game tickets are on sale at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati.
Transaction: FC Cincinnati signed F Kekuta Manneh to a new contract after a free transfer from FC St. Gallen (SUI) and after FCC acquired his MLS rights from Columbus Crew SC in exchange for $250,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $50,000 in General Allocation Money. FC Cincinnati could send an additional $100,000 in Allocation Money ($50,000 in TAM & $50,000 in GAM) should certain performance conditions be met.
#31 KEKUTA MANNEH
Pronunciation: keh-KOO-tuh MAH-nay
Birthdate: Dec. 30, 1994
Birthplace: Bakau, Gambia
Hometown: Madiba Kunda, Gambia
Last Club: FC St. Gallen (SUI)
Nationality: Gambia, United States
MLS Roster Status: Domestic Player
How Acquired: Signed after a free transfer from FC St. Gallen (SUI) and following the acquisition of his MLS rights via trade from Columbus Crew SC on Feb. 13, 2019