CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati have acquired midfielder/defender Kenny Saief (pronounced SAFE) on loan from Belgian club RSC Anderlecht using Targeted Allocation Money.
Saief, 25, joins FC Cincinnati after spending the last five seasons in Belgium with KAA Gent (2014-18) and RSC Anderlecht (2018-19), where he has featured in both UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches. A native of Panama City, Fla., Saief will occupy a domestic roster spot on FC Cincinnati’s 2019 MLS roster.
“We are excited to add a player of Kenny’s caliber to our team,” FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch said. “He is someone who comes to our club with significant top-tier experience. We look forward to welcoming Kenny to Cincinnati and integrating him within our group immediately.”
The left-sided player has made a combined 147 appearances, including 96 starts, over his five seasons in Belgium. Saief has scored 16 goals and added 13 assists across all competitions with Anderlecht and Gent. In the current 2018-19 season, Saief made 12 appearances for Anderlecht, including five in UEFA Europa league matches.
He has four caps for the United States Men’s National Team. He made his international debut in a friendly against Ghana on July 1, 2017 ahead of the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup. Prior to representing the United States, Saief represented Israel at various youth levels.
Saief’s professional career began in 2010, when he played at four clubs in Ligat Ha’al – Israel’s top tier – in his first four professional seasons. He played for Bnei Sakhnin (2010-11), Hapoel Haifa (2011-12), Ironi Kiryat Shmona (2012-13) and Hapoel Nir Ramat HaSharon from (2013-14). After making a combined 11 appearances during his first three seasons, Saief had a breakout season with Hapoel Nir Ramat HaSharon, where he scored seven goals in 23 league appearances.
The Panama City, Fla., native moved to Belgian side K.A.A. Gent for the 2014-15 season, where he went on to play for the next four seasons. With Gent, Saief made a combined 113 appearances, scored 15 goals and added nine assists. The midfielder spent the second half of the 2017-18 season on loan with Anderlecht permanently joined the Belgian power prior to the 2018-19 season. In 44 matches across all competitions, Saief scored one goal and tallied four assists for Anderlecht.
FC Cincinnati will travel to Atlanta on Sunday, March 10, to face Atlanta United FC at 5 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally live on ESPN, streamed on WatchESPN and carried on the radio on WDJO. The Orange and Blue will make their home debut as an MLS team at Nippert Stadium on Sunday, March 17, when the team hosts MLS Cup finalist Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. Season tickets, mini plans and individual-game tickets are on sale at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. For more information about FC Cincinnati tickets - including 2019 season tickets - call 513-977-KICK (5425) or visit fccincinnati.com/tickets.
Transaction: FC Cincinnati acquired M/D Kenny Saief on loan from RSC Anderlecht on March 6, 2019.
Uniform Number: 93
Birthdate: December 17, 1993
Birthplace: Panama City, Fla.
Hometown: Haifa, Israel
Last Club: RSC Anderlecht (BEL)
Nationality: United States, Israel
MLS Roster Status: Domestic Player
How Acquired: On loan from RSC Anderlecht on March 6, 2019