Kenny Saief's switch to USA approved; Gent star now eligible for USMNT, Gold Cup
U.S. Soccer welcomed one more dual-national into the fold officially on Thursday, with the approval of Kenny Saief's one-time switch from Israel to the USA.
Saief, who was born in Florida, represented Israel at the U-19 and U-21 levels and required the FIFA paperwork to play for the USA. He does not need to be cap-tied to the U.S. in an official competition, as the one-time switch locks him into the U.S. for the duration of his career.
The 23-year-old Saief is on Bruce Arena's 40-man preliminary roster for next month's Gold Cup and is now eligible to be named to the final 23-man squad on Sunday, when Arena reveals his choices.
A star midfielder at Belgian club Gent, Saief has Champions League experience and offers a left-sided option for Arena (and his eventual successor). Saief scored eight goals in all competitions last season, including one in the UEFA Europa League.
U.S. Soccer is also awaiting the completion of paperwork for FC Dallas's Mexican-American goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, who, like Saief, is on Arena's preliminary roster for the Gold Cup.