According to reports out of Cincinnati, the New England Revolution have made what will likely be one of their only moves of the summer.
The Revs will acquire winger Kekuta Manneh from FC Cincinnati for an international roster spot. This was first reported by FC Cincy beat writer Laurel Pfahler on Patreon but later confirmed by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Fatai Alashe is also set to leave FC Cincy as well and surely these trades are setting up another move for Cincy down the road.
Manneh, who played the bulk of his MLS and professional career with the Vancouver Whitecaps, was acquired by Cincy at the beginning of last year from the Columbus Crew approximately $300K in various Allocation Monies. Manneh actually scored his first FC Cincy goal against the Revs last year back in March. According to the MLS Players Association, Manneh’s base salary in 2019 was $375K with total compensation just over $390K.
I’ll save the in-depth tactical things for the Manneh signing for later after this is official, but this is another in a long line of shrewd to solid Revolution trades. Manneh is not going to replace Carles Gil, but it does give the Revs another good to potentially great outside/winger option.
By our count, the Revs have only one international roster spot open, that being Luis Caicedo’s spot with him on the season ending injury-list.
Bruce Arena hinted it was unlikely the Revs would make an international signing during this “summer window” which opened last week and will run to the end of October. Effectively, the Revs then flipped something they weren’t using into a player with a solid resume.
Now, Manneh was once a much hyped and talented winger and is still a good soccer player, but there were hopes several years ago he’d be able to break into the USMNT setup after obtaining citizenship. Those aspirations haven’t developed and after a failed leap to Pachuca in LigaMX and overseas to FC St Gallen in Switzerland, the Revs are now his third club in as many seasons while in MLS. However, Bruce Arena has preferred to play speedy wingers without Carles Gil available, and Manneh certainly could be thrown into a system that is tailored for his playstyle and finish with a big second half.
The potential pairing of Cristian Penilla and Manneh as wingers with Gustavo Bou in the middle of an attacking midfield (-ish) trio is interesting and fast and could be very fun to watch.
Long term, with the additions of Manneh and Matt Polster, both of whom are US domestic players, their signings have the potential to free up international roster spots for next year. It seems very unlikely that the Revs would keep both Penilla and Manneh next year once Gil gets back especially if Manneh has an immediate impact. Likewise, if Polster is a going to be a consistent starter at holding midfield, it doesn’t make sense to keep both Caicedo and Wilfried Zahibo as that duo take up international spots.
We’ll have more on this if and when the trade becomes official either later Monday or this week. Let us know what you think of the trade in the comments below.