American midfielder Kenny Saief has joined FC Cincinnati on loan from Jupiler Pro League side RSC Anderlecht. Rumors emerged last week from Belgian blog Anderlecht Online that Saief was coming to MLS and his destination is now confirmed.
FC Cincinnati used Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to complete the deal for the 25-year-old United States Men’s National Team left-midfielder, who should bring an attacking spark to the the Ohio-based club. Cincinnati struggled in its MLS debut, losing 4-1 in an away match against the Seattle Sounders.
While Saief has played almost exclusively as a midfielder during his career, it should be noted that the FC Cincinnati press release described him as a “midfielder/defender.” Saief joined his previous club Anderlecht in January 2018 on loan from fellow Belgian side Gent. He completed a permanent transfer to Anderlecht ahead of the current 2018/2019 season. In 44 appearances for Anderlecht, Saief has recored 1 goal and 4 assists.
Saief missed the first six games of the 2018/2019 season due to a leg injury and struggled to find a place in the Starting XI, after returning to full fitness. He has not made Anderlecht’s past four match day squads and has played just 14 minutes since December 22nd.
Saief has earned USMNT four caps, appearing in three international friendlies during 2018. Despite having yet to feature in an official competition, Saief is cap-tied after filing his one-time switch from Israel to the USMNT in 2017. He played for Israel’s youth teams at several different age groups and made two appearances for its senior national team prior to switching to the United States.
Is this a good move for Saief?