Not many players move from MLS to Liga MX. That said, Kekuta Manneh is not exactly in uncharted waters.
Manneh became the latest player to head south of the border to ply his trade in Mexico on Wednesday when he officially signed with Pachuca. While Manneh will be one of only a handful of former MLS players to compete in Liga MX in the upcoming Clausura campaign, there have been plenty of others who have embarked on similar journeys in recent years.
US national team defender Omar Gonzalez might be the most notable one and a relevant comparison, as he left the LA Galaxy in December 2015 to sign, coincidentally, with Pachuca. Gonzalez has done well in his time in Mexico, winning the 2016 Liga MX Clausura title and the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League. He remains an regular starter at center back for Los Tuzos.
Another player who has enjoyed plenty of success in Mexico after leaving MLS is striker Camilo. A former attacker for the Vancouver Whitecaps, Camilo departed amid some transfer drama in 2014 to sign with Queretaro. The Brazilian remains at the club and has lit up the scoreboards during his time there, netting 46 goals across all competitions while helping Los Gallos Blancos win the Apertura's Copa MX crown in 2016.
USMNT left back Jorge Villafaña has seen himself in and out of the starting XI during his time with Santos Laguna since joining the club in January 2016. Former San Jose midfielder Rafael Baca, who was part of the 2012 Quakes that won the Supporters' Shield, has flourished in recent years with Cruz Azul. The 28-year-old has become one of the top players at his central midfield position in the league.
Juninho, Luis Gil, and Fabian Espindola all made moves south of the border over the past couple of years but failed to have the same success as Gonzalez. Juninho and Gil returned to MLS this year after signing with Club Tijuana and Queretaro, respectively, ahead of the 2016 season. Espindola, meanwhile, moved to a Spanish club after a one-year stay with Necaxa.
A few more examples of players who have gone down to Mexico after being in MLS are Jose Villarreal and the Farfan brothers, Michael and Gabriel. Villarreal, who has has been back in MLS for several seasons after his 2014 loan stint at La Maquina expired, and Michael and Gabriel Farfan all found limited playing time during their spells.