Vancouver Whitecaps have made a bold statement in the MLS Draft. They already had the fifth pick in the first round and traded the fourth from Toronto, giving them 4th and 5th.
In trade four, they opted for a speedy forward, Gambian youngster and former Austin Aztex star Kekuta Manneh. Shortly after, they took the man who lit up the goal scoring charts for the Portland Timbers Under 23s, Erik Hurtado.
As a star in the Under 23s for the Timbers, the Whitecaps would have managed to take a good look at the Beaverton, Oregon native.
With Dane Richards departing for England, there was an imminent need for some pace to replace him. Manneh fills that role.
The arrival of Hurtado strongly suggests that Kenny Miller may be surplus to requirements alongside Darren Mattocks in the forward line. That would free up resources for yet another addition.
With fourth and fifth picks, the Caps were always going to emerge strongly from today’s draft. These selections though, and the late trade for the 4th slot, suggest they have great confidence in Manneh.
It is not yet known what they traded for the selection.
Portland drafted defender Dylan Tucker-Gangnes as their only draft pick at number 34.
Elsewhere, Oregon State’s Emery Welshman was drafted by Toronto FC.