USMNT: Kekuta Manneh added to roster for Paraguay game

Kekuta Manneh, the Gambian-born attacker who spent five seasons in MLS before moving to Pachuca in Mexico this winter, has been added to the U.S. national team’s March training camp in Cary, North Carolina.

With the addition, the roster now stands at 23 players as the USA prepares for its friendly against Paraguay on March 27. Manneh is one of eight uncapped players in camp.

Manneh attended the U.S. national team's January camp in 2017 and became eligible to play for the USA when he turned 23 in December. FIFA rules require foreign-born players to wait until five years after they moved or their 18th birthday before they can play for their adopted home.

Manneh, who was born in Gambia and moved to the United States on a sports exchange program as a teenager, was the No. 4 pick by Vancouver in the 2013 SuperDraft out of high school.

He had 26 goals and 15 assists in 120 games with the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Columbus Crew, which he joined in March. He was mostly used off the bench by the Crew, which finished second in the Eastern Conference.

Manneh is one of three players called into Cary who left MLS over the winter on free transfers along with Bill Hamid and Erik Palmer-Brown.

While at the Whitecaps, Manneh resided across the border in the state of Washington to maintain his residency necessary to become a citizen.

Manneh's connection to the United States was Colorado-based Rush Soccer with programs across the country and abroad. Gambia Rush has sent players to Rush clubs in the United States, including Manneh, whose mother died when he was 10.

Manneh played first for Georgia Rush and then Texas Rush AJ Auxerre, where he scored 35 goals in 23 games in 2010-11 for its U-16s. Manneh eventually moved to a rival youth club, Lonestar, and then the PDL's Austin Aztex but he was adopted by his family in Austin, the Niccums, leading to his path to citizenship.

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Bono (Toronto FC; 0/0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 5/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew 1/0).
DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Ipswich Town/ENG; 1/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 14/1), Matt Miazga (Vitesse/NED; 4/1), Shaq Moore (Levante/ESP; 0/0), Erik Palmer-Brown (Kortrijk/BEL; 0/0), Antonee Robinson (Bolton Wanderers/ENG; 0/0), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna/MEX; 15/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 49/0).
MIDFIELDERS (9): Tyler Adams (NY Red Bulls; 2/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC; 0/0), Kekuta Manneh (Pachuca/MEX; 0/0), Weston McKennie (Schalke 04/GER; 1/1), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United; 24/1), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 2/0), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 1/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; 3/0), Tim Weah (Paris SG/FRA; 0/0).
FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Telstar/NED; 0/0), Rubio Rubin (Tijuana/MEX; 4/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 36/10).
In parentheses are caps and goals.
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