(May 17, 2013) – Sporting Kansas City forwards Kei Kamara and Soony Saad were selected by their respective National Teams for upcoming international matches, the club announced on Friday. Kamara will join Sierra Leone from June 2-17 for FIFA World Cup Qualifiers versus Tunisia and Cape Verde Islands, while Saad will join the Lebanon Men’s National Team for the first time from May 25-31 for an international friendly against Oman.
Kamara, 28, recently returned from a loan agreement with Norwich City FC of the Barclays Premier League, where he scored one goal in 11 games for the Canaries. Sporting Kansas City's leading scorer the last three seasons, Kamara has 46 goals and 22 assists in 187 career MLS appearances (including playoffs).
Sierra Leone, No. 67 in the latest FIFA rankings, are in second place of Group B with three games remaining in the second round of FIFA World Cup qualifying for the Confederation of African Football. They host group leaders Tunisia on June 8 at National Stadium in Freetown, Sierra Leone before traveling to Estadio de Varzea in Praia, Cape Verde to play the Cape Verde Islands on June 15.
"It is always an honor to get to represent your country,” Kamara said. “I’m really excited to get there when I can and get back with the guys to continue my contribution in helping the country towards the World Cup.”
Saad, 20, will join Lebanon for the first time since becoming eligible to represent the country earlier this month and becomes the first player in MLS history to join the Lebanon Men’s National Team. Lebanon, No. 129 in the latest FIFA rankings, travels to Doha, Qatar for an international friendly against Oman on May 29.
"I'm very excited for this opportunity,” Saad said. “Any international experience is very big for a player and I feel privileged. I can't wait to see what I can do on the international level and hopefully bring that experience back to Sporting KC."
Acquired by Sporting KC via a weighted lottery in 2011, Saad scored in his MLS debut and has added two assists in 21 career MLS appearances (including playoffs) including a game-winning assist last month against D.C. United. He scored two goals during Sporting Kanas City’s run to the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship and also scored against Club Deportivo Guadalajara in an international friendly.
Saad has previously represented the United States at the youth level, most recently appearing for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team in December 2010. He was a member of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. for the Spring Semester in 2009 and was the 2008 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Player of the Year in 2008.
On Thursday, Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi were named to the U.S. Men’s National Team for five upcoming international matches. Besler and Zusi will join the U.S. MNT camp in Cleveland following Sporting Kansas City’s match against the Houston Dynamo on May 26 at Sporting Park.