21-year-old forward recorded two goals and two assists as the ‘Caps earned two wins
VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Kekuta Manneh was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the 11th week of the 2016 MLS season.
Manneh proved to be the difference maker against Canadian rival Toronto FC on Saturday, scoring twice and adding an assist to lead Vancouver to a thrilling 4-3 victory at BMO Field. It was the 21-year-old’s third multi-goal game in MLS and helped Vancouver extend its winning streak to three matches (6-5-2, 20 points).
Vancouver struck first in the 12th minute of play when Manneh pounced on a mistake along the Toronto backline and sped up the field to smoothly tuck a shot between the legs of goalkeeper Clint Irwin (Watch Goal).
With both teams firing on all cylinders and the match tied 2-2, Manneh gave Vancouver the lead for good showing incredible technical ability with his second tally in the 70th minute. Manneh dribbled the ball into the box between three defenders and used a dirty cut to send a defender flying before firing a left-footed shot to the far post to give Whitecaps FC a 3-2 advantage (Watch Goal). Vancouver struck again in the 72nd minute, this time with Manneh acting as a facilitator, sending an entry pass to Pedro Morales who scored with a beautiful curling shot to make it 4-2 ( Watch Assist).
In addition to his performance in Toronto, Manneh also recorded an assist on the spectacular match-winning bicycle kick goal from Blas Pérez in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Chicago Fire (Watch Assist).
Vancouver Whitecaps FC next travel to Providence Park to take on Cascadia Cup rival Portland Timbers in a Heineken Rivalry Week matchup on Sunday, May 22 (1:30 p.m. PT, TSN1 in Canada, ESPN/ESPN Deportes in the United States).
Manneh is the first Whitecaps FC player to earn Player of the Week honours this season. Last season, centre back Pa-Modou Kah was named Player of the Week after scoring two goals in a 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC in Week 22. Also in 2015, David Ousted was named Player of the Month for June and striker Octavio Rivero took home the award in March.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.