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FC Cincinnati gets US international Kenny Saief on loan

Mar 27, 2018; Cary, NC, USA; United States midfielder Kenny Saief (10) dribbles the ball against Paraguay midfielder Oscar Romero (21) during the first half of an international friendly men's soccer match at WakeMed Soccer Park. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)

CINCINNATI — American international Kenny Saief has joined FC Cincinnati on loan from RSC Anderlecht in Belgium. The 25-year-old Saief’s arrival, announced Monday by the club, will bolster an FC Cincinnati attack many consider to be an incomplete story.

A native of Panama City, Fla., Saief moved to Israel with his family at age 3. After a starting his professional career in his adopted homeland, Saief made the move to Europe with Belgium’s KAA Gent in 2014. Strong performances, including eight appearances in the UEFA Champions League, earned him a move to powerhouse RSC Anderlecht in 2017. 

Minutes, however, have been hard to come by this season for Saief. He may be able to find them stateside with the MLS expansion club.

Saief made two friendly international appearances for Israel before making a one-time switch to the United States in 2017. He has since earned four caps for the U.S. under former coach Bruce Arena.

Positionally, Saief is most effective on the left flank, but can also play through the middle. So while not a perfect answer for the lingering need for a central attacking midfielder in Cincinnati, he can provide cover in an area where the squad is already thin.

That might be a good thing for Saief, who joins an FC Cincinnati roster already crowded on the wings. Roland Lamah, Emmanuel Ledesma, Kekuta Manneh and Jimmy McLaughlin are all natural wide. And Jamaican forwards Darren Mattocks and Rashawn Dally could both see time on the flanks this season, too. 

Regardless of where he is deployed, Saief will provide an immediate boost to an attack that lacked bite in Cincinnati’s first match at Seattle.

 

 

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