KAA Gent attacker Kenny Saief shed more light on his possible switch of allegiance from Israel to the US national team in an interview with American Soccer Now, saying he would consider making the switch and that he feels the USMNT is “better” than Israel.
“I knew from someone that the United States was scouting me,” Saief, 21, told American Soccer Now from Belgium, where he will lead Gent to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League next year. “If I get a call from the United States, I think I would probably play for them. Which team is better at football? I think the United States is better. They play almost every four years in the World Cup. As a footballer they are better, I think.”
The interview comes on the heels of a report that indicated that Saief, born in Panama City, Fla., to Israeli parents, would soon receive a call-up to the USMNT, with a US Soccer spokesperson confirming that they have been scouting the dual-citizen.
Saief also told Israeli outlet Sport5 that he was considering accepting the US call-up, which would require a permanent one-time switch with FIFA, and that he was growing frustrated with the Israeli outfit.
“At the end it's my decision,” Saief told American Soccer Now. “If I would say that the best for me would be to go to the United States, for sure I would decide to go to the United States. I respect everything from my father and I loved him. Maybe he had his own plans for the future to be on the Israeli national team, but maybe I feel that I really can do it and be a national team player for the United States.”
Gent recently finished second in their Champions League group, becoming the first Belgian team in 16 years to advance to the knockout stages of the tournament.
“I hope I can show what I can do and let them be happy,” he said. “If I play for the United States, I can give the national team my best – but let's hope that first I can get a call.”