Tony Tchani

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Whitecaps midfielder Tony Tchani traded to Fire days before MLS kick off

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It isn’t the most earth-shattering move, but with the 2018 MLS season looming it does come as a bit of a surprise.

[ MORE: Top 10 breakout players in MLS this season ]

The Vancouver Whitecaps have announced that they have traded midfielder Tony Tchani to the Chicago Fire in exchange for $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) that can be used this year.

“We are thankful to Tony for his time in Vancouver and wish him all the best with Chicago,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. “This move will give us additional roster flexibility.”

Tchani, 28, began his career with the New York Red Bulls, before spending time with Toronto FC and the bulk of his time with Columbus Crew SC.

He has recorded 14 goals and 22 assists throughout his career, including four finishes last season for the Whitecaps.

The move gives the Fire plenty of depth in the midfield, particularly with Dax McCarty, Bastian Schweinsteiger and first-round SuperDraft pick Mo Adams all in contention for time.

MLS Snapshot: Manneh scores, assists in return to VAN; CLB get a point

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The game in 100 words (or less):Kekuta Manneh returned to Vancouver for the first time since being traded by the Vancouver Whitecaps to Columbus Crew SC on March 30, and the Gambian-born U.S. national team hopeful had himself an evening to remember in the Pacific Northwest. The 22-year-old scored one and set up another as Columbus settled for a road point despite holding a 2-1 lead late into second-half stoppage time. The man to rob Manneh and Co. of two points? Tony Tchani (plus allocation money), for whom Manneh was sent to Columbus. The symmetry of soccer. Fredy Montero bagged the game’s opening goal, but Manneh’s cross was turned home by Ola Kamara less than five minutes later. Columbus went ahead of a laser unleashed by Manneh just after the hour mark, but Tchani’s decisive goal spoiled the homecoming two minutes into stoppage time. Vancouver remain top of the Western Conference (for the time being), just as Columbus remain fourth in the Eastern Conference.

[ MORE: MLS weekend preview — TFC’s Shield chase continues in LA ]

Three Four moments that mattered

15′ — Montero gets in behind, makes it 1-0 — It wasn’t pretty (it rarely is with the Whitecaps), but it was effective. Moral of the story: get the ball to Montero, preferably with his face to goal.

19′ — Kamara pokes home at the near post for 1-1 — Manneh sets up Kamara for the early equalizer.

63′ — Manneh unleashes a rocket for 2-1 — The first hour of this game leads me to believe Manneh might have just had some extra motivation for this game, which is sad when you consider he might have been capable of performances like this all season.

90+2′ — Tchani pokes it home at the far post — Justin Meram is really, really good at a lot of things, but defending inside his own penalty area might not be one of them.

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Man of the match: Kekuta Manneh

Goalscorers: Montero (15′), Kamara (19′), Manneh (63′), Tchani (90+2′)

Columbus Crew acquires Kekuta Manneh from Vancouver Whitecaps

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A blockbuster trade came down on Thursday as Columbus snatched Kekuta Manneh from the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Crew sent back longtime Columbus midfielder Tony Tchani plus $225,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $75,000 in General Allocation Money.

Columbus is already tops in the Eastern Conference four matches into the season, with seven goals scored, the third-most in Major League Soccer. Still, they felt the opportunity to acquire the 22-year-old Ghanan was too good to pass up.

Manneh joined Vancouver in 2013 via the MLS SuperDraft as a Generation Adidas player. He was selected fourth overall by the Whitecaps, and has since made 101 league appearances, scoring 22 goals and assisting 12 more.

“We take pride in our identity as an attacking team, so we are excited to announce the addition of Kekuta Manneh, one of the most dynamic, young, offensive players in Major League Soccer and a new addition to the US Soccer national team program,” said Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter in a team statement. “Kekuta complements the existing corps of attacking players on our roster and we expect him to play an important role with the club this season.”

Manneh joins a Crew attack headed by Ola Kamara, who owns three goals already this season, plus the creative forces of Federico Higuain and U.S. international Ethan Finlay.

Going the other way is two-way midfielder Tchani, who has been with the Crew since 2011, amassing 130 appearances for the club. Tchani penned a goodbye posted on social media, which read, “It was an incredible journey of ups and downs and I want to say THANK YOU to the Columbus Crew organization, fans, friends, and family (Amazazi, AJ and Weis) that I made over my last 5 years plus here.”

Tchani cap-tied to Cameroon; Severe overcrowding at Nigeria match (photo)

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This weekend’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers have already provided much more than Hlompho Kekana’s wild distance goal.

First, a note that freebies can get out of hand if you’re not prepared.

Nigeria’s Kaduna State government let fans in for free in a qualifier against Egypt on Friday, and an estimated 40,000 showed up to the 16,000 capacity venue, climbing fixtures and ascending the roof to get a view of the action.

[ MORE: Fallout from the USMNT’s shock loss to Guatemala ]

It’s an amazing oversight, and the authorities are fortunate that fans, players and officials remained safe in the 2-2 draw.

Meanwhile, one-time USMNT call-up Tony Tchani is now cap-tied to Cameroon after playing in a qualifier against South Africa. So that ship has sailed.

Tchani, 26, played for the U.S. against Iceland earlier this year, but it was a friendly and left him open to Cameroon.

Crew’s Tchani, Red Bulls’ Abang selected by Cameroon for African Cup qualifiers

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After making his first appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team back in January, Tony Tchani could be cap-tied to a different nation in the coming weeks.

[ MORE: Timbers acquire Leicester midfielder Barmby ]

The Columbus Crew SC midfielder has been called up by his native country Cameroon ahead of the team’s 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier versus South Africa.

The match will take place on March 26. Cameroon currently leads Group M through two games.

[ MORE: MLS stats ]

Tchani, 26, holds duel-citizenships with Cameroon and the United States, making him eligible for both countries.

In addition to Tchani, New York Red Bulls attacker Anatole Abang has also received a call-up from head coach Hugo Broos. Abang has previously featured for Cameroon’s Under-17 and Under-20 sides.

West Ham United’s Alex Song has also earned himself a spot in the team. The 28-year old is currently on loan with the Hammers from La Liga side Barcelona.

Here’s the full roster for Cameroon’s match against South Africa:

CAMEROON:

Goalkeepers: André Onana (Ajax); Guy Roland Ndy Assembe (Nancy;) Fabrice Ondoa (Tarragona)

Defenders: Allan Nyom (Watford); Nicolas Nkoulou (Marseille); Aurélien Chedjou (Galatasaray); Henri Bedimo (Lyon); Bitolo Ambroise Oyongo (Montreal Impact); Adolphe Teikeu (Sochaux); Sébastien Bassong (Norwich)

Midfielders: Jonathan Ngwen II (Unisport Bafang); Stéphane Mbia (Heibei, China); Alex Song (West Ham); Franck Kom (Etoile du Sahel); Landry N’Guemo (Akishar); Dany Ndi (Sporting Dijon); Sébastien Siani (KV Oostende); Tony Tchiani (Colombus Crew); Marvin Matip (Inglostadt)

Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar (Porto); Christian Bekamenga (Metz); Eric Maxime Choupo Moting (Schalke); Benjamin Moukandjo (Lorient); Jacques Zoua (GFC Ajaccio); Edgard Sali (St. Gallen); Anatole Abang (New York Red Bulls); Karl Toko (Sochaux)

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