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What They're Saying: Kenny Saief
March 16th, 2017 3:01AM
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TAGS:  americans abroad, belgium, men's national team


"I feel like I can't control who calls or when it happens. It is out of my hands. So I will wait."

-- Israeli-American Kenny Saief, who plays for Belgium's Gent. He was expected to be called up by Israel for its upcoming World Cup qualifier against Spain until he suffered an abdominal injury, but he wants to play for the U.S. national team, which recently scouted him. (ESPN FC)

  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: March 16, 2017 at 1:20 p.m.
    If there is a reason this guy can't get a call into camp I don't know of it. Too creative? Too immigrant-y?
  1. Joe Goss
    commented on: March 16, 2017 at 5:21 p.m.
    He's provisionally tied to Israel, so he can only come into a full camp if he has filed and received that release. He could come into a camp without the release, but he couldn't play AND we only have competitive matches for a while so it would be distracting. He's in a bit of a Prisoner's Dilemma... If he files the switch, he's tied to the US forever and can't accept an Israel call up. But he can't guarantee the US would call him up in the future either. If he really wants a US call-up, file the switch. But that's risky.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: March 16, 2017 at 5:40 p.m.
    One reason could be that he isn't considered better than what we currently have in the pool. He also said "I hope I will get a call from the United States; let's be honest, The U.S. is a much bigger and better national team than the Israeli national team. They qualify for almost every World Cup, and it's a dream of every football player to play in the World Cup. So that is where I want to play." So he thinks playing for the US rather than Israel, where he spent nearly all of his life, will benefit his career. Doesn't sound like the right motivation to me. Instead, it's a decision that is purely about money, like Aron Johannsson.
  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: March 16, 2017 at 5:46 p.m.
    I prefer honesty to canned sportsman responses, but that's just me. These days, every dual national thinks this.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 1:13 p.m.
    I agree which is why a fawning over reliance on dual nationals is not the way forward. Particularly since, in most cases, these guys aren't any better than they guys we already. There are some exceptions like Jermaine Jones (at least until recently) and Fabian Johnson but for the most part these guys aren't better than Americans already in the player pool.

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