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Kekuta Manneh is focused on gaining USMNT eligibility

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Another dual-national could be in the mix soon

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The United States Men's National Team gained a talented dual-national in November when Darlington Nagbe was cleared by FIFA after gaining his U.S. Citizenship. It appears Jurgen Klinsmann is about 10 months away from having yet another talented dual citizen at his disposal.

Vancouver Whitecaps winger Kekuta Manneh tells MLSSoccer.com that he's in line to gain his U.S. Citizenship in September of 2016.

"I'm about 10 months away from getting it," Manneh said to MLSsoccer.com. "It's scheduled to come out on Sept. 8, so I'm really excited. Since I've been here, my agent has been in contact with [US Soccer officials], so that it will build interest."

The 20-year-old was born in Gambia but came to the U.S. at 15-years-old as part of a soccer exchange program. He has recorded 17 goals and 10 assists in his three-year career with the Whitecaps. He played one season with the Austin Aztecs of the PDL in 2012.

Despite playing his club soccer North of the border, Manneh has been living in Point Roberts, Washington to keep his residence in the U.S. and to remain eligible for citizenship. He is forced to drive to and from practice daily just to stay within the guidelines of eligibility.

"It is very weird," Manneh said. "It can be a long drive at times, when the traffic is bad in the morning. But it's nice. I love Point Roberts, to be honest. It's very quiet, and I get a lot more sleep there than I do in Vancouver, so that's a big plus.

"It is a bit weird coming from a different country to come and train here in Vancouver in Canada, but it's great. It's all for a good cause, so it's exciting."

While he isn't completely ruling out playing for his birth country of Gambia, he consistently turns down invitations for call-ups until he gains his American Citizenship. He's even ruling out a possible move abroad to make sure he stays eligible.

"Yes, it would definitely affect it if I were to move," Manneh said. "I'm a bit short of days, that's why I'm going to Point Roberts every day, so that I can make those days up. So there's no way, no chance, of me leaving Vancouver until I get it."

Keeping his options open is the logical thing to do. If for some reason the USMNT don't come calling when he becomes eligible he'll have another option in Gambia. Reading between the lines however, it sounds like he'll be waiting with bated breath for Jurgen Klinsmann, or whoever is in charge in 10 months, to come calling.