WATCH, Vancouver’s Kekuta Manneh: two shots; two posts; one goal

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Kekuta Manneh’s season has been a series of auditions to be a regular in Carl Robinson’s starting XI, his two goals coming despite being limited to two starts (and 273 minutes). On Saturday, the new Whitecaps boss gave the young Gambian another shift in the starting unit. The result was this early piece of magic: two shots; two posts; one opening goal. Maybe your defense should have done better, but Jon Busch, nobody can fault you for not stopping those.

Coming off six goals as a rookie, Manneh’s started his sophomore campaign with three memorable tallies: today’s early Goal of the Week candidate; a deep second half goal against Los Angeles; and the late equalizer earlier this season at Chivas USA. They’re part of the reason fans are calling for Manneh to get that spot in the starting XI. The other reason: The kid’s only 19 years old. Give him playing time. Watch him grow.

With Carl Robinson switching back and forth between today’s 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield, Manneh’s playing time depends on more than just his performance. That doesn’t mean his highlights can’t sway a decision. His Saturday goal is another argument for Vancouver sticking with a formation that suits Manneh’s talents.

Early in the second half at BC Place, it’s 3-1, Vancouver.