Saief's switch to represent USA is approved by FIFA

Israeli-American Kenny Saief, who plays for Belgium's Gent, has been approved by FIFA for a change of association, making him eligible to only play for the USA at the senior international level.

Saief was born to a Druze family in Panama City, Florida, and moved at the age of three to Israel, where he played for it in competition for its U-19 and U-21 national teams, which required his application for a one-time switch.

Saief is on the preliminary 40-player roster for the 2017 Gold Cup. The 23-player roster will be announced on Sunday.

One catch regarding Saief is that Gent will enter the Europa League in the third qualifying round, which begins the day after the Gold Cup final. One possible scenario: he plays in the group stage and then is released back to Gent. (Teams are allowed up to six changes after the group stage.)

Also needing a change of association is FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, who represented Mexico in Olympic qualifying.
6 comments about "Saief's switch to represent USA is approved by FIFA".
  1. Ben Myers, June 23, 2017 at 10:04 a.m.

    No surprise here. When in Israel last year, I organized some of our group to see an Israeli Premier League match. The caliber of play surpassed MLS, and Israel, despite its small population is within spitting distance of the US in FIFA rankings. So player development and training in Israel must be pretty good.

  2. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, June 26, 2017 at 9:42 a.m.

    LOL, that's a good one.

  3. Nick Daverese, June 24, 2017 at 12:52 a.m.

    Ben, Maccabi (Maccabee) Los Angeles Soccer Club was a Jewish club that did very well in the open cup. They beat us one year when we played under the Brooklyn dodger name. Eric Braeden The actor played for them. He was in the tv show the rat patrol and had a big part in the movie titanic. When the MLS first started they played a celebrity all star game. Eric played in that game and even at his age had a super game. No wasted energy just great passing we play smarter the older we get.?

  4. Craig Cummings, June 24, 2017 at 10:09 p.m.

    Sorry Ben, but I dont believe Israel teams are better than MLS clubs.

  5. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, June 26, 2017 at 9:43 a.m.

    They aren't. Plus, Saief doesn't even play in the Israeli league. He is just looking for another chance to take a cheap shot at MLS.

  6. R2 Dad, June 25, 2017 at 2:28 p.m.

    Would like to see this guy get a run out in a couple of games, but NOT in 4-4-2 as it wouldn't play to his strengths.

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