24 under 24: Kekuta Manneh cracks top five for the second year running

Here’s why he’s No. 5 #24U24https://t.co/TPH4jC3SXV

— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 22, 2016

For the second straight year, Kekuta Manneh has cracked the top five in Major League Soccer’s annual 24 under 24 series – featuring a list of the best players in MLS aged 23 or younger.

After placing second in 2015 and 12th the year before, Manneh comes in at fifth in 2016.

“Maybe the fastest player in the league,” one technical staffer told MLSsoccer.com. “My guess is if you asked every technical director or general manager, they would take a run at trying to trade for him. At his age, with the pace he has, he's an absolute menace.”

Manneh, 21, is in the midst of his fourth season in MLS.

He has appeared in 98 MLS regular season matches for Vancouver after getting selected fourth overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, totalling 22 goals and 12 assists.

This season has had its challenges, however.

After scoring five goals in his first 17 appearances, Manneh has now missed 11 straight matches with a fifth metatarsal fracture in his right foot.

Manneh is one of two Whitecaps FC players on this year's 24 under 24 list. The other was centre back Tim Parker, who was ranked #18. Click here to see the full list. 

Evaluation Criteria

All MLS players aged 23 or younger before October 23, 2016 were eligible for consideration. The final list of 24 players is determined by a panel made up of top soccer media members and the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff. The panel ranked the eligible players based on the following criteria:

  • Technical: first touch, dribbling, shooting, heading
  • Soccer IQ: positioning, reading game, situational understanding, tactical awareness
  • Physical Attributes: balance, agility, speed, endurance, strength, vertical leap
  • Personality: attitude, marketability, media savviness, charisma, intangibles
  • Potential: improvability, ceiling, national team potential, potential transfer value

Voting media members

Jeff Carlisle (ESPN.com)
Andy Edwards (NBC ProSoccer Talk)
Thomas Floyd (Goal.com)
David Gass (ExtraTime Radio host)
Kristan Heneage (freelance journalist)
Cobi Jones (MLS & US Soccer legend)
Kurt Larson (Toronto Sun)
Patrick LeDuc (RDS)
Kyle McCarthy (freelance journalist)

Will Parchman (TopDrawerSoccer.com)
Paul Tenorio (FourFourTwo.com)
Jonathan Yardley (MLS broadcaster)
  * Benjamin Baer (Associate Editor)
  * Simon Borg (Editor-in-Chief)
  * Matt Doyle (Senior Editor)
  * Alicia Rodriguez (Contributor)
  * Nick Rosano (New Media Editor)

24 under 24: Kekuta Manneh cracks top five for the second year running -

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