Preview: Kinda and Israel resume World Cup qualifying at Faroe Islands

Gadi Kinda Israel National Team

Israel at Faroe Islands
2022 World Cup Qualifying | UEFA Group F
Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 | 1:45 p.m. CT
Torsvollur Stadium | Torshavn, Faroe Islands
Streaming on ESPN Plus

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gadi Kinda has joined the Israel Men’s National Team for the continuation of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying in the UEFA region.

Kinda and the Israelis are slated to play three qualifying matches in the first seven days of September, a crucial stretch that begins Wednesday with a visit to the Faroe Islands. Kickoff is set for 1:45 p.m. CT and supporters can catch the action on ESPN Plus.

Kinda has returned to the Israel squad after making his senior national team debut on June 5, coming off the bench to score a stunning long-range goal in a 3-1 friendly win at Montenegro. He earned his first Israel start four days later in a 4-0 friendly loss at European powerhouse Portugal. The playmaker previously represented his country at the U-18, U-19 and U-21 youth levels from 2011-2016.

Under the guidance of head coach Willibald Ruttensteiner, Israel currently occupies third place in Group F behind leaders Denmark and second-place Scotland. Seven group stage matches remain between now and mid-November, with the first-place finisher qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the second-place team advancing to a World Cup playoff contested by other second-place finishers in UEFA in March 2022. Israel are seeking their second-ever World Cup appearance after competing in the tournament for the first time in 1970.

At No. 81 in the latest FIFA rankings, Israel are led by the likes of captain and PSV striker Eran Zahavi, Partizan Belgrade midfielder Bibras Natkho and 22-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk forward Manor Solomon. They will look to take three much-needed points against the Group F minnows, as Faroe Islands (ranked 114th) have claimed a single point from their first three qualifiers. Most of the squad's players ply their club trade in the Faroe Islands Premier League.

Kinda has recorded 10 goals and seven assists in 38 appearances for Sporting since joining the club ahead of the 2020 campaign. He has started 15 of 17 MLS matches this season, tallying four goals and three assists for a Sporting Kansas City side that sits in second place in the Western Conference with an 11-4-7 record. Sporting are a perfect 7-0-0 when Kinda scores or assists this year.

Kinda had six goals and four assists during his debut MLS campaign in 2020, landing club Newcomer of the Year honors. He placed sixth among MLS newcomers last year with 10 combined goals and assists while also creating 26 scoring chances, second-most on the team.

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Israel, Kinda spent the first nine seasons of his professional career competing in Israel’s top two divisions, including an eight-year spell at hometown club Ashdod. He joined Sporting in January 2020 from Israeli Premier League side Beitar Jerusalem.