U.S. Men's National Team

Manneh finalizes U.S. citizenship

Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports

Kekuta Manneh is currently with the U.S. Men’s National Team for January camp and the Vancouver Whitecaps forward has taken a major step towards actually representing the U.S. on the international stage.

U.S. Soccer confirmed on Wednesday that Manneh has officially received his U.S. citizenship. Manneh remains in the process of completing eligibility requirements that would allow him to formally join the USMNT squad.

Born in Gambia, Manneh’s path towards citizenship began when he moves to the U.S. in 2010.¬†Drafted fourth overall by the Whitecaps in 2013, Manneh has since commuted to Canada from¬†Point Roberts, Washington in order to fulfill citizenship requirements.

The 22-year-old Whitecaps star, who has 22 career goals and 12 career assists in 98 MLS appearances, is currently with the USMNT for Jaunary camp, which concludes with friendlies against Serbia and Jamaica.

    • johnnyrazor

      Pretty well documented that Klinsmann was high on him and in an interview early last year Manneh said Klinsmann had already been in touch with him several times. He probably would have been brought into train during the October friendlies if he hadn’t been hurt, just as Green was brought into a friendly camp before he made his decision.


  • Ross

    Who has seen him enough to comment on his playing style and how well he’d compete with our current crop of forwards. We have a bunch of good forwards but they all seem to be injured a lot. So the more depth the better.


    • LouisZ

      I haven’t seen much of him to have a final opinion, he is very fast, his scoring ratio is ok, not great. I remember in one of his scores he went by MB like if MB was a traffic cone.


    • Helium-3

      He’s a very aggressive direct attacking player with good technique, and very good individual skills. At the USMNT level, he should get better service so I expect more scoring opportunities than what he’s getting at Vancouver.

      Expect him to attack defenders like Pulisic and he seems very strong, not Altidore level, but he’s more hungrier than Altidore.

      I think if he pairs up with Agudelo and Pulisic, teams will have their hands full covering these 3 guys since they are very good dribblers.


    • Lost in Space

      I’d say he’s a bit of a hybrid wide player (winger/forward). He’s got decent technical ability (less than Pulisic….greater than Zardes), is a speedy players who can get in behind or take defenders 1v1, and can play possession or the fast break game. Question marks on him is if he can stay healthy (just had a significant injury lay-off), can defend, his crossing ability, & if he can make the transition to the speed of the international game.

      IMO he’ll be in contention as a wide left midfielder in Bruce’s favored 4-4-2….competing w/ Pulisic, Zardes, Gooch, Green, Bedoya, & possibly Morris (as some web sites are suggesting). If he can make the step-up in competition I see him as ultimately being a quality back-up/depth player who’ll be able to give us a slightly different attacking option late in games.

      I’m thinking Pulisic, Gooch, Green, & Mennah end up being our wingers starting in 2018…with Jozy, Wood, Morris & either Zardes or Agudelo being our primary strikers (dark horses being ArJo & Boyd if they can ever recover health & form),


      • johnnyrazor

        Not sure with the glut of wingers we have we will see the 442 at least once we have the full roster. LAG often ran a 4-5-1(4-3-3) and lets not forget that Bruce switched to a 3-5-2 during the 2002 World Cup to better use Eddie Lewis and Frankie Hejduk who were offensive fullbacks like Johnson and Yedlin.

        Let’s not forget Andrew Wooten and Jerome Kiesewetter in our lists of FWs and Wingers either. Both have had nice seasons in Germany especially Wooten. Two years from now I wouldn’t be surprised to see Perez, Gaines, and possibly Wright in the mix as well.


    • Flagermunsen

      I’m a Caps season ticket holder and have seen a lot of Manneh. He is a frustrating player because of his inconsistency. He’s streaky– can give you three great games followed by four or five games of invisibility. I feel that Robinson never really figured out how to use him. When he runs at players, he puts fear in defenders. He will be very good as a late sub taking advantage of tired legs. I’d love to see him put some fear in Mexico (they’ll have to hack him), He’s young, so maybe he will turn into something. He’s not there yet. The one thing you can’t doubt is his speed. It’s hard to say what his best position is, I’d say withdrawn striker. I don;t like him on the wing. He can fade out of the game. I don’t like his decision making. On the other hand, he gets in position to get good opportunities. It seemed like he was finally starting to finish with more consistency when he got hurt. I’d like to see him play for a coach who can develop young players. Robinson didn’t have a great deal of trust in young guys with one exception notable exception– Tim Parker.


      • johnnyrazor

        Thanks for the local report. I had always heard rumor he was heading to Europe once he got his citizenship. Are those rumors still circulating out there?


  • Davis, Lennon, Observer & Associates

    Manneh is a poor mans Raheem Sterling, which I don’t mean as a slight. Manneh will surely stretch the wing and look to cross or drive to end line to snap a low pass back in. That’s his best game although he is pretty handy on a counter with his speed. I don’t think defense is his speciality (a la sterling) but he gives us more attack. Basically he’s a faster bedoya with about the same level of dribbling skill and soccer IQ, minus any defensive skill. Manneh can play LW ideally or cam (assuming pulisic settles into LW like for club).

    I hope he does well but I still think Joe Gyau is a direct upgrade to Manneh


    • johnnyrazor

      Joe Gyau “was” a direct upgrade. I’m not sure we can still say that based on his 2 minutes of game action this season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Super Nintendo Chalmers

        The first 45 minutes I saw of Gyau in Prague were enough to impress me. It’s a shame he had to suffer a major injury because the federation ignorantly scheduled the match in Hartford at a football stadium and the sideline was really dodgy.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Neal

    Solid player. And, I like to see that he has the desire to represent the US. Seems that it was not the easiest road


  • Gary Page

    I suspect he will be a lot like many players we have. Good player who will contribute depth and provide competition and fight for a spot, but not a world beater, nor one who will probably make a big difference in major international competition. Long term I think both Wood and Morris have better potential, but Manneh is still young, with time to develop further, so we’ll see.


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