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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Kekuta scores first Crew goal, earn Team of Week spot

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By Modou Lamin Beyai

Gambian winger Kekuta Manneh finally opened his Columbus Crew scoring account in the team’s 4-1 home win over Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer action.
Since he was acquired from the Vancouver Whitecaps in late March, Manneh has been unable to make his mark for his new team, struggling to convince Gregg Berhalter to give him meaningful minutes and logging less than 250 in four appearances thus far.

But when he came into the game in the 69th minute of the win over Montreal Impact, he immediately changed his fortunes earning his first Team of the Week honor since joining Crew.
He opened his Black & Gold scoring account just seconds later, in the 70th minute, when he sliced into the Impact penalty box and buried a point-blank layoff by Ola Kamara.

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It was Manneh’s 23rd goal of his MLS career and first since June 25, 2016 — with almost exactly one year coming between goals. He returned the favor and assisted Kamara’s goal just two minutes later.
“I’ve been searching for that (goals) since I’ve been here,” Manneh said after the match. “I’m here to help the team score goals, and today I played my part.”

“Coming back from the injury scare I had, I had a long week off to think about … what I can do to help this team,” he said. “I’ve been here for 10 weeks now; I need to help this team in any way that I can. I was hungry.”
Manneh and his team hosts MLS-expansion side Atlanta United FC on July 1 and will also welcome German Bundesliga-side and DFB Pokal-finalist Eintracht Frankfurt to MAPFRE Stadium for an international friendly on Monday, July 17.

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