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Kekuta Manneh is excited to be a part of Columbus Crew SC’s offense

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The newest Black & Gold signing is ready to get going with his new club.

Trades are a part of sports and they happen all the time. Major League Soccer, despite its weird rules and access to an international market, is no different.

On Thursday, Columbus Crew SC was a part of a big trade within MLS, bringing in Vancouver Whitecaps attacker Kekuta Manneh in exchange for out-of-favor midfielder Tony Tchani and allocation money.

The new Black & Gold winger arrived Friday night and flying across the country.

“It’s been good,” Manneh said of his first few hours in Columbus. “A bit of a long flight. I came in, went to the hotel, had dinner and slept in this morning, had breakfast, came here.”

It’s been a quick turnaround for Manneh. After the news of the trade, he said goodbye to his former teammates and coaches and less than 24 hours later, he was meeting his new ones.

“I was very impressed,” Manneh said of his new club. “I just met some of the guys in the locker room and it’s been very nice.”

Manneh said he knows Wil Trapp from training with him with the U.S. National Team and Hector Jimenez from training with the LA Galaxy eight years ago. Other than that, he has some acquainting to do.

He also needs to get acquainted with the Crew SC system. Manneh said he has not spoken with head coach Gregg Berhalter about his role with the club just yet, but he’s familiar with how the Black & Gold’s play.

“Columbus is a team that I admired from afar,” Manneh said. “I thought they were a really good team and move the ball very well. They’re a very total attacking team and I was really excited to see what the future holds for me.

“They score lots of goals, every single game. I watch their games and it’s always a thriller. For me, as an attacking player, it’s always exciting to know that coming to a club that plays attacking football. They score a lot of goals, create a lot of chances and I want to be a part of chances and hopefully I can show what I can do and help them achieve their goals.”

He’s also excited to take in MAFPRE Stadium as a home player after having played at the Black & Gold’s stadium once as a visitor in 2014.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting them,” Manneh said of the fans. “I’ve been watching this team from afar and I heard some really good stuff from Wil and all the players that I played here. So I can’t wait to experience it myself.”

In 101 appearances with Vancouver, Manneh scored 22 goals and registered 12 assists. He’s looking forward to getting to know his new teammates and coaches and replicating that production for Crew SC.

But that won’t come this week in the Black & Gold’s contest with Orlando City SC.

“I’m pretty tired,” Manneh said. I can barely keep my eyes open.”

Understandable, Kekuta. It’s been a whirlwind last couple of days.