After his time with the U.S. Men’s National Team was abruptly cut off due to injury, midfielder Kenny Saief will need surgery and will be sidelined a little while longer.
Saief will undergo surgery to repair a hernia after suffering the injury during the USMNT’s Gold Cup tune-up match against Ghana, reports Israeli media. The surgery will force the Israeli-American wide midfielder to miss about seven weeks of playing time. This means Saief will likely miss all of KAA Gent’s pre-season training and friendlies, as well as the start of their season, and won’t be available until early September for the Belgian club.
The Ghana match represented Saief’s debut for the USMNT, having previously represented Israel at the senior level for a pair of friendlies. His one-time FIFA eligibility switch was completed shortly before the tune-up match, on June 22nd. Following his injury, he was replaced by Chris Pontius on the Gold Cup roster.
Gent opens the Jupiler Pro League on July 30th against K Sint Truidense VV and will play about five matches before Saief returns to availability. He’s been a crucial part of their first team since joining from Israeli club Ironi Nir Ramat HaSharon in 2014, having made 78 appearances and scoring 13 goals in that span. The 23-year-old has also made several Champions League appearances with Gent, putting him in a strong position for USMNT consideration moving forward.