It’s a trade Columbus Crew SC fans have been wondering about all season.
On Friday, the Black & Gold announced the club will send central midfielder Tony Tchani to the Vancouver Whitecaps along with $225,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $75,000 in General Allocation Money in exchange for forward/midfielder Kekuta Manneh.
“First and foremost we would like to thank Tony Tchani for his significant contribution to the club throughout his time here,” head coach Gregg Berhalter said in the press release. “Tony has been a consummate professional and we wish him all the best moving forward.”
If Manneh, who is in the last year of his contract, signs a new contract with Columbus, Vancouver will also receive the Black & Gold’s first-round MLS SuperDraft pick the following year.
The Whitecaps will also receive additional General Allocation Money if Manneh is traded by Columbus prior to December 31, 2018 and Vancouver will retain a percentage of any future transfer fee if the player is transferred outside of MLS.
Manneh was drafted by Vancouver with the fourth-overall selection in 2013. At 22 years old, Manneh has a wealth of MLS experience, appearing in 101 games, starting 62, and scoring 22 goals for the Whitecaps.
“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,” Berhalter said. “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 played for the Gambia U20 national team, but earned U.S. citizenship in January before being called into camp by U.S. national team head coach Bruce Arena.
Tchani joined Crew SC in July of 2011 and made 130 appearances, 112 starts, scoring eight goals and registering 18 assists over the better part of seven seasons with the club.
With the offseason additions of Ghanian midfielder Mohammed Abu and Brazilian central midfielder Artur, Tchani found himself on the outside looking in. He did not make the game day 18-man roster for the Black & Gold’s first four games of 2017 and had become expendable for the club.
Manneh’s addtion givens Crew SC another dangerous, young attacking option in a group that’s already scored seven goals this young MLS season.
Columbus hosts Orlando City SC on Saturday. That match will kickoff at 4:00 p.m. ET.