We had previous reports out of Cincinnati late last night/early this morning about the New England Revolution acquiring winger Kekuta Manneh via trade. That trade however was not the only one in the works.
The Revs officially announced today the acquisition of Manneh from FC Cincinnati as well as a trade for midfielder Tommy McNamara from the Houston Dynamo. Manneh’s trade as first reported yesterday by Laurel Pfahler is indeed for a 2020 international roster spot, which is the roster slot of Luis Caicedo currently on the season ending injury list.
The trade for McNamara is more involving, and starts with Wilfried Zahibo and a 2020 international roster spot (presumably the one Zahibo was occupying) going to Houston in exchange for McNamara, $150,000 in 2020 allocation money, and $25,000 in 2021 allocation money.
McNamara, a player with cult figure/legend status in MLS started his career with Chivas USA but played four seasons with NYCFC from 2015-18, playing 86 games and scoring 13 goals. In his year and a half with Houston he played 37 games with 17 starts, notching two goals. For his MLS career, McNamara has a total of 129 appearances, 89 starts, 16 goals, and 17 assists in league play.
As we mentioned yesterday, Bruce Arena had said it was unlikely the Revs were going overseas this summer for any signings, so the Revs flipping two international roster spots that they get back in 2021 is pretty good business. Salary cap wise, Manneh was listed at $375K base salary last year and McNamara at $165. With Zahibo’s $513 base and $583 total compenstation off the books, this feels like a wash for now.
Short term, you can probably write Matt Polster into the starting lineup in ink at holding midfielder and add Tommy Mac to the list of players available to partner with him if Arena keeps his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. Manneh could also jump to the top of winger options opposite Cristian Penilla with Gustavo Bou and Adam Buksa likely the other starters up front.
With Polster being added this summer and Luis Caicedo likely being healthy in 2021, it’s not a surprise to see Zahibo leave the Revs though I didn’t expect this kind of timing. The Revs have a lot of midfield options but not a lot of true holding midfielders behind Polster and Scott Caldwell, though we’ve seen Kelyn Rowe and Diego Fagundez get minutes there. We’ll see how much of an impact McNamara can have with the Revs during a congested schedule in the coming weeks.
Manneh has a chance to solidify a starting lineup spot of his own as well. With Carles Gil out, the Revs have opted for another speedy winger to pair with Penilla, Bou and Buksa. With the MLS fixture list an absolute mess in the coming weeks, squad rotation will likely be a factor and I’d expect to see a few games where Manneh and Penilla swap as starter/substitute for the same winger position and wreak havoc on the left flank for 90 minutes.
We welcome both Kekuta and Tommy to the New England Revolution and thank Wilfried Zahibo for his time in navy blue. Let us know what you all think of the moves in the comments below.