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Manneh Has Options for International Future

Could Kekuta Manneh play in the World Cup one day? If he does, a few options could be available

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Kekuta Manneh is non-committal on his International playing future, although according to a recent interview with, he certainly has his options open. He could one day star for the country he was born in, Gambia, or he could lace up his boots for the United States, where his family settled when he was 15 years old.

He seems keen to play for either side, although some quotes suggest he could be leaning towards suiting them up for the United States. In any case, while his next chance is four years away, it's easy to see why Manneh's already been pressed to pledge his allegiance for the international stage by local media; he's 19 years old, and is already raising eyebrows and turning heads in MLS. It's often been questioned just how long he'll stay with the Whitecaps before a 'bigger fish' snaps him up, so clearly it's believed he may one day have the potential to play in the biggest tournament on the planet.

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Manneh playing for the USA, if he was able to reach that level of play. He says in the interview that he 'considers the U.S. to be home', and says he's close to gaining his citizenship. From the Whitecaps perspective, if he's still with the 'Caps in four years, the US is obviously the most attractive choice. He'd gain far more notoriety playing for the Americans, which, in turn could boost popularity for the team itself.

In any case, it's not a concern of Canadian soccer fans, who will just have to take solace in Gershon Koffie, who earned his Canadian permanent residency card last February. It's no fun watching a talent like Manneh playing in our own backyard and knowing he won't be donning the maple leaf any time soon, but, hey, we're Canadian soccer fans, disappointment is what we do.