This year was supposed to be the year Kekuta Manneh took the next step in his burgeoning career. The Gambia-born winger has shown flashes of brilliance in his time with the Vancouver Whitecaps and 2016 was hopefully the year he turned his promising potential into consistent production and even possibly a USMNT call-up. However, an injury could derail that goal.
Manneh has been living in Washington to adhere to the guidelines of obtaining U.S. citizenship. He has reportedly already applied for citizenship and is currently in a waiting pattern. He has been in contact with United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann and looked to have a real shot at a call-up as soon as he became eligible later this year.
The 21-year-old is looking at a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Manneh underwent successful surgery on his right foot on Friday and will be out indefinitely. Whitecaps manager, Carl Robinson, says he expects the youngster back before the end of the season. It's unclear exactly when Manneh would be eligible for the USMNT, but this injury will likely rule out a call-up for the World Cup qualifiers in September.
There are expected to be two friendlies in October (one has already been confirmed vs. Cuba) along with the beginning of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying hexagonal in November (assuming the U.S. make it that far) for him to get his first cap. If he isn't called up for those, there's a strong chance of a January camp call-up when the roster is limited to MLS-based players only.