–Man City star training with MLS side to keep fit
Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho scored a hat-trick for Major League Soccer side, Columbus Crew yesterday in their 5-1 demolotion of the team’s USL Pro affiliate Dayton in a scrimmage friendly. Midfielder Ben Speas scored the other two goals.
Iheanacho is training with the club until mid-October but is not a candidate to join the club permanently, coach Gregg Berhalter said after yesterday’s game.
“It’s a guy who is training here for a period and then he’s going to rejoin Manchester City later in October,” Berhalter said at the club’s facility in Obetz.
“He wanted a place to train, to stay fit, stay moving and we offered it to him.”
Berhalter said Manchester City approached the Columbus Crew about finding some time for Iheanacho through Claudio Reyna, who played for Man City and is the current director of football operations for Major League Soccer expansion franchise New York City FC.
“He has good connections with Manchester City and he wanted to place (Iheanacho) at a club that he can train and I guess similar philosophies, similar values in soccer,” Berhalter said. “We said we’d be glad to help out.”
Iheanacho has starred for Nigeria at the World U-17 Championship in 2013 in the United Arab Emirates, scoring six goals and adding seven assists while leading the Golden Eaglets to the title.
He also scored two goals during Manchester City’s preseason tour of the United States.
Asked if Iheanacho is a candidate to join the Columbus Crew full-time, Berhalter said, “No.”