Gadi Kinda - Israel Men's National Team - Sporting KC

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 this 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.

Israel Men’s National Team Match Schedule

<strong>Time (CT)</strong>
<div>Saturday, June 5</div>
<div>at Montenegro</div>
<div>1:45 p.m.</div>
<div>Podgorica City Stadium;</div><div>Podgorica, Montenegro</div>
<div>Wednesday, June 9</div>
<div>at Portugal</div>
<div>1:45 p.m.</div>
<div>Estadio Jose Alvalade;</div><div>Lisbon, Portugal</div>

Kinda, 27, has earned his first selection to Israel’s senior team since 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 are 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. After facing Montenegro, the Israelis will serve as an exhibition opponent for a star-studded, fifth-ranked Portugal side preparing for the UEFA European Championship later this month.

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 for a Sporting side that occupies second place in the Western Conference and boasts a three-game winning streak. He opened his 2021 scoring account in a 2-1 victory at the New York Red Bulls on April 17 and tallied game-winning goals in exciting home triumphs over Austin FC on May 9 and Houston Dynamo FC on May 29.

An impressive debut season in MLS saw Kinda receive 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.