Kekuta Manneh in Union Berlin trials

Gambia-born winger Kekuta Manneh is currently trialling with German 2. Bundesliga club Union Berlin, Gambia Sports can report.

Manneh’s dream of European football is inching closer after testing the waters outside of the United States’ Major League Soccer (MLS).

1. FC Union Berlin, currently featuring in the German second division, wrote on their website on Tuesday that the speedy Gambian forward is on trial with them.

The club statement read: “1. FC Union Berlin can welcome a new face on the training ground. Test player Kekuta Manneh has been training with the pros since Monday and will be part of André Hofschneider’s training squad in the coming days.”

“Born in Bakau, Gambia, Manneh is a US citizen and has been working for Columbus Crew since March 2017. In the past season, the striker in 22 games got four goals and three assists.”

The 22-year-old became a free agent after he was not listed in Columbus Crew’s press release that revealed players whose options had been picked up or in negotiations with.

He has made it known in the past that he wants to try his luck across the pond in Europe after spending five years in the United States, telling North Carolina-based The Dispatch that: “I will regret it for the rest of my life if I don’t explore the idea of playing in Europe.”

The former Steve Biko prodigy began his professional career with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2013, making 101 appearances for the Canadian club, registering 22 goals and 12 assist over his four-plus seasons with the Whitecaps.

On March 30, it was announced that Manneh had been traded to the Columbus Crew in exchange for midfielder Tony Tchani, $225,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $75,000 in General Allocation Money.

The Black & Gold knew at the time that Manneh’s contract was up at the end of the season, but stated the club and player would play out the year and see how things go. Manneh played in 24 games for Columbus, including five in the MLS postseason but started only nine before scoring four goals and three assists in the process.

Should Manneh impress the coaching staff at Berlin, he will join them in January on a free transfer as his contract with the Crew expires at the end of December.

Union Berlin are currently fourth on the German second-tier table with 26 points and play their matches at the 22,012-capacity Stadion An der Alten Försterei.