Tony Tchani will be joining his second Canadian MLS club. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
Midfielder Tony Tchani is on the move yet again.
The former Red Bulls’ first-round draft choice joined his fourth Major League Soccer club in eight years Thursday.
The Vancouver Whitecaps acquired the 27-year-old Tchani from the Columbus Crew SC for $225,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $75,000 in General Allocation Money in exchange for winger-forward Kekuta Manneh.
If the Crew signs Manneh, who is in the last year of his contract, to a new contract, then Vancouver will also receive Columbus’ natural first-round MLS SuperDraft selection in the 2018 draft. Vancouver will receive additional GAM if Manneh is traded by Columbus prior to December 31 and the Canadian club will retain a percentage of any future transfer fee if Manneh is transferred outside of the league
Tchani will be added to Vancouver’s MLS roster pending receipt of his international transfer certificate and Canadian work permit.
“We have acquired an experienced, athletic, box-to-box player in Tony, who will help solidify our midfield,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson, who was a teammate of Tchani with the Red Bulls. “Tony is someone I enjoyed working with during my time in New York and I’m excited to have him join our group. In addition, the allocation money provides further opportunity to strengthen our roster and depending on what’s next for Kekuta, there is also the potential of additional returns.”
The 6-4, 185-lb. Tchani spent his first two seasons with Red Bulls, when Robinson was a player-assistant coach, and Toronto FC.
Taken second overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Tchani has appeared in 172 MLS regular-season matches, recording 10 goals and 21 assists.
A native of Bafang, Cameroon, Tchani received his U.S. citizenship in 2013 before appearing in a friendly for the Americans in January 2016 against Iceland. Tchani, however, is cap-tied to his native Cameroon because of his participation in two 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.