KENYA BROWN - Thursday, June 22, 2017
Midfielder Kenny Saief can now officially represent the US national team as FIFA approved his application to switch from playing for Israel to the Americans, US Soccer announced on Thursday.
The 23-year-old, who was born in Panama City, Florida, grew up in Israel and played for the country's U-19 and U-21 teams. Because of this, he had to apply for the one-time switch with FIFA.
Saief has made it no secret that he wants to play for the US national team as he believes he would have a better shot at making it to the World Cup compared to the Israeli team.
The switch to the US now puts the midfielder in position to earn a spot on the 23-man roster for this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup when it is announced on Sunday. Head coach Bruce Arena has named him among the players on the preliminary 40-man roster.
Away from the national team, Saief has been playing for KAA Gent in Belgium's Jupiler League since 2014. He has become an integral member as he helped them reach the knockout stage of the Champions League last year. He was on the field for the team when they knocked off English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 32 in last season's Europa League.