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Seattle Sounders send Victor Mansaray on loan to FC Cincinnati

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The 19-year-old forward will spend at least part of 2017 playing in the USL’s Eastern Conference.

MLS: Friendly-Club Tijuana at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

FC Cincinnati announced that they have signed Seattle’s United States U20 international on loan in preparation for the 2017 season. The move sends Victor Mansaray to an independent USL club where he will be fighting for playing time based purely on his performance rather than notions of potential. Among his competition is former Sounder, Andy Craven, and his job will be to replace the production of last year’s USL MVP, also a former Sounder, Sean Okoli.

From the Sounders’ perspective the move seems a play to force Mansaray out of his comfort zone. Since signing as a Homegrown Player at seventeen the young striker has only played 29 minutes for the club’s MLS side. There is no doubt that Mansaray is still a player with masses of potential, he was voted best U20 player in USL last year, but his development has been a little more stagnant than ideal. He managed to put in five goals for S2 last year, and at times looked to be the best on the pitch, but his struggle continues to be consistency.

In the end it is a relatively low stakes sink or swim proposition. The move to a side where he won’t be allowed inconsistency could be a boon for Mansaray’s development; certainly that is what the Sounders will be hoping.