Date of Birth1.9.1984 (39)
Brings a wealth of experience in Europe’s top leagues, including the English Premier League and Portugal’s Liga … a big, strong and physical presence in the midfield … very good technically and consistently wins possession for his team … can control the game both ways from his defensive midfield position … has excellent passing touch and very good decision making … while primarily a deep-lying midfielder, can also slot back at center back if needed … was a fan favorite in his three seasons at Reading FC (England), before moving to Bristol City in 2010.
BEFORE MLS: Began his professional career in Portugal with GD Estoril-Praia on Jan. 3, 2005, following a youth training stint at France’s Toulouse … made six appearances with Estoril-Praia, before moving to Portuguese Liga club Boavista ahead of the 2005-06 season … made 42 appearances for Boavista, spanning two seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07) … moved to England and signed with Reading FC – which was entering its second-straight season in the Premier League – in the summer of 2007 … made his Reading – and EPL – debut on August 15, 2007 in a home loss to Chelsea … recorded his lone Premier League goal on Dec. 29, 2007, in a 6-4 loss to Tottenham Hotspur … played three seasons for Reading, including two years in the Championship after the team was relegated following the 2007-08 season … scored seven goals and added two assists in 76 total appearances, including a goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers during the 2008-09 season that was voted the club’s goal of the year … Cisse moved to Championship side Bristol City in the summer of 2010, where he played during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, making 61 appearances and scoring two goals.
MALI NATIONAL TEAM: A dual citizen of France and Mali, Cisse has earned five caps for the Mali national team … he made his international debut on June 22, 2008, when he came on as a substitute against Sudan in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier … also appeared against Liberia on Oct. 9, 2010, in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, as well as in friendlies against Congo (Nov. 17, 2010), Ivory Coast (Feb. 8, 2011) and Tunisia (Aug. 10, 2011) … appeared at the 2003 FIFA World Youth (Under-20) Championship for Mali.
PERSONAL: Cites playing in National Stadium in Portugal in front of 60,000 fans against Benfica and scoring his first goal in the Premier League against Spurs as his most memorable soccer moments … favorite place to vacation is France with his family … lists his favorite athletes as Mali international Seydou Keita and Jimmy Kebe, both former teammates of his … his favorite movie is Malcolm X … his favorite musician is Kery James.