Sunderland chaplain Father Marc Lyden-Smith sends Twitter message to Vito Mannone

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone of Sunderland celebrates following his team's 1-0 victory during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on May 3,...

The Black Cats alumnus has joined MLS outfit Minnesota United on loan from Reading.

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone of Sunderland celebrates following his team's 1-0 victory during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on May 3,...

Sunderland chaplain Father Marc Lyden-Smith has claimed that Major League Soccer outfit Minnesota United have "hit the jackpot" by signing former Black Cats goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

The 30-year-old, who is on the books at Reading and also previously played for Arsenal and Hull City, has joined the United States team on a long-term loan until January 2020, occupying an international spot on their roster (official Minnesota website).

Mannone joined the Stadium of Light outfit in July 2013 from the Gunners and made 80 appearances for the Wearside outfit in all competitions, keeping 22 clean sheets, according to Transfermarkt, and left in July 2017 for the Madejski Stadium.

 

The Italian has played 47 times for the Royals but has made only six starts this term, falling behind Arsenal loanee Emiliano Martinez, Sam Walker and Anssi Jaakkola in the goalkeeping pecking order.

Lyden-Smith took to Twitter as he wished Mannone - described by him as "one of most passionate and hardworking footballers that I’ve ever met" - well as he and his partner embark on their "American adventure":

Minnesota United finished 10th in the MLS Western Conference at the end of last season and are managed by former Everton, Burnley and Manchester City midfielder Adrian Heath (BBC Sport).

The 2019 MLS season begins in March and Mannone could make his debut against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Vito Mannone of Sunderland celebrates as his team draw level for the second time during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Liverpool at Stadium of Light on January 2, 2017 in...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch