As confirmed on March 6th by FC Cincinnati, USMNT midfielder Kenny Saief will join the Orange & Blue on loan from RSC Anderlecht.
Kenny Saief Profile
Position: Midfielder – Left/Central
Born: Panama City, Florida, U.S.A.
Former Team: RSC Anderlecht
Value: $2,270,000 USD
Kenny Saief is an American born midfielder who played for the Israel Youth and Men’s National Teams before making a one-time switch to the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2017. This will be Saief’s first time playing in a North American league, after playing for seven different clubs over the past eight years.
Following a nine-goal season with Israel’s Hapoel Nir Ramat HaSharon FC in 2014, Saief caught the attention of Belgian first-division club K.A.A. Gent. During three seasons as a regular starter, he led the team to top four league finishes each year, including Champions League berths. His most notable achievement in 13 starts during the 2016-17 campaign included his role in Gent’s 3-2 upset over Tottenham.
While primarily designated as a left midfielder, many believe Saief could fulfill the central attacking midfielder (CAM) role for FC Cincinnati. He would join MLS as FC Cincinnati’s highest-market-value player, according to Transfermarkt.
One worry is Saief’s recent history of injuries. In July of 2017, according to a report from SBISoccer.com, Saief suffered a hernia injury that was successfully repaired. However, during his international debut for the United States against Ghana, Saief re-aggravated the injury. Shortly after, doctors discovered an infection from the original surgery that further slowed Saief’s healing process. This injury played a role in barring Saief from the United States’ 23-man Gold Cup squad that same year.
Saief joins a crowded midfield for the Orange & Blue that already features 11 players. Because Saief now occupies a senior roster spot and the club had already reached their limit of 20, FCC will need to make further moves to satisfy MLS roster compliance standards. More on that is sure to come.