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Sporting KC midfielder Gadi Kinda joins Israel Men's National Team for friendlies in Europe

MLS Sporting KC Whitecaps Soccer
Posted at 5:57 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 18:57:38-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gadi Kinda has joined the Israel Men's National Team for two friendly matches during the FIFA international window in June.

Kinda and Israel will travel to face Montenegro on Saturday, June 5, at Podgorica City Stadium in Podgorica before visiting European powerhouse Portugal on June 9 at Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon. Both matches will kick off at 1:45 p.m. CT.

Kinda, 27, has earned his first selection to Israel's senior team since the fall of 2019 when he was named to the squad for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying.

The attacking midfielder has yet to make his senior debut, having represented Israel at the U-18, U-19 and U-21 youth levels. Kinda previously featured in qualifying matches for the 2013 UEFA European Under-19 Championship as well as the 2015 and 2017 editions of the UEFA Under-21 Championship.

Led by head coach Willibald Ruttensteiner, Israel is 85th in the latest FIFA rankings and will use the upcoming friendly matches as tune-ups for the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying in September.

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Israel, Kinda has reclaimed a national team spot thanks to strong displays as an integral member of Sporting. The playmaker has recorded three goals and one assist in eight appearances this season.

Kinda received Sporting KC Newcomer of the Year honors last November. He placed sixth among MLS newcomers in 2020 with 10 combined goals and assists while also creating 26 scoring chances, second-most on the team behind Johnny Russell. He started 16 of 18 regular season appearances and was particularly effective in the early and latter stages of the campaign. Kinda was the only MLS player to receive Team of the Week honors in Week 1 and 2 and later notched two goals and two assists in his final three regular season matches.

Prior to joining Sporting in early 2020, Kinda logged over 200 professional appearances in Israel. He spent the first seven and a half years of his career at FC Ashdod before moving to Beitar Jerusalem in 2019.