Kekuta Manneh - CLBvCHI - Goal Celebration - 2017-08-12
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Ex-MLS striker Kekuta Manneh signs with Liga MX's Pachuca


Gambian attacker Kekuta Manneh is leaving MLS to sign with Mexican stalwart CF Pachuca, the Liga MX club announced Tuesday.

Manneh, who turns 23 on Saturday, had been offered a contract to return to Columbus Crew SC after he was dealt from the Vancouver Whitecaps in late March, meaning Columbus retains Manneh's MLS rights.

Manneh's departure comes after earlier speculation he would sign a new contract to stay in MLS, where he has shown promising flashes but has yet to post a truly consistent season. Manneh also went on trial with German 2.Bundesliga side Union Berlin earlier this month.

Manneh has 26 league goals over 120 MLS appearances since making his debut in 2013 as a teenager. His best campaign came in 2015, when he scored seven times and started 28 matches for Vancouver.  But injuries plagued his 2016 campaign, and he started in only half of his 22 league appearances in 2017.

Had Manneh signed a contract to return to Columbus for 2018, Crew SC would've sent its first-round pick during next month's 2018 MLS SuperDraft to Vancouver, per terms of their trade.

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