The 2013 MLS Superdraft took place on thursday last week as the Whitecaps were looking to add some new, young talent into their side. The ‘Caps began the draft with the 5th and 10th picks but acquired the 4th pick from Toronto FC in a trade, sending allocation money and the 10th pick back to TFC in return. The Whitecaps selected Gambian U20 international Kekuta Manneh, who is a striker/winger and Eriq Hurtado who is American and also a striker/winger.
Kekuta Manneh was drafted from the Austin Aztex, where he tallied 12 goals and 9 assists last season. Kekuta is a member of the Gambian U20 men’s national team and is only 18 years old.
Eriq Hurtado was selected from Santa Clara University, he racked up 33 goals and 20 assists in 77 appearances for his school. He was drafted 5th overall and was a standout at the 2013 MLS Combine in Florida.
Martin Rennie commented on the selection of Kekuta Manneh following the draft: “Kekuta brings great pace out wide and is a natural goalscorer, he is a versatile player with a natural ability to play on the left or on the right, which isn’t easy to find. I’m very pleased that we were able to move-up in the draft to select Kekuta.”
Rennie made comments on drafting Eriq Hurtado as well: “Erik is powerful and quick, and holds the ball well under pressure, he brings a solid goalscoring record during his time at Santa Clara and was a standout at the Combine. We are very excited that we were able to select Erik today.”
These young new players will hope to get a spot in the Whitecaps starting eleven but will have to work tirelessly to achieve that. Although the ‘Caps do not have the best reputation when it comes to giving new draft picks significant playing time. The Whitecaps season begins on March 2nd against Canadian rivals Toronto FC at BC Place.
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