24 Under 24 - 2016 - Kekuta Manneh

Kekuta Manneh | 24 Under 24

#5

Kekuta Manneh

AGE: 21

COUNTRY: Gambia

POSITION: Forward

CLUB: Vancouver Whitecaps

YEARS PRO: 4

A dynamic speedster with loads of potential, Manneh has shown he can be a lethal, game-changing weapon in MLS during his three-plus seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps. He not only has the wheels to burn defenders, but also possesses the ability to beat them on the dribble and can both score and set up goals.

Like anyone his age, Manneh is far from a finished product. If he can improve his rate of finishing and decision-making in the final third, he'll be nearly impossible to stop. Still, the tools are there for this promising youngster to develop into something special, perhaps even with the US national team.

What the technical staffers say:

"Maybe the fastest player in the league. My guess is if you asked every technical director or general manager, they would take a run at trying to trade for him. At his age, with the pace he has, he's an absolute menace."

"Any time we play Vancouver, one of the first things we talk about is making sure that we respect the pace of Manneh. If he gets his citizenship – I don't know Jurgen Klinsmann very well, I don't know what he's thinking – but he'd be a write-in guy for me."

"He's still very temperamental. Sometimes that's what the game is all about, but I think more than anything else he needs to control that for 90 minutes, every game."

"If he can get his citizenship, he's looking at the national team. There's not too many people with his profile. He's effective because he's so dangerous on the dribble, 1-v-1. He can create on his own. You can put him on a poor team, and he'd still be effective. He needs to receive balls in areas of the field where he can be effective."


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