Sporting Kansas City has signed 24-year-old forward Soony Saad, the club announced Monday. Saad, a Lebanese international who previously played for Sporting Kansas City from 2011-2014, has signed a two-year contract through 2018 with an option for 2019. He will be added to the team’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.
“I am so glad to be back in Kansas City, a place that I grew to love,” Saad said. “I certainly have unfinished business to take care of here, and I am ecstatic for the opportunity to return. I will bring my experiences as a team leader in Thailand as well as a new maturation level on and off the field. I am eager to join the team for preseason and excited to once again see all of the great supporters at our games.”
Saad rejoins Sporting Kansas City from Pattaya United of Thailand’s first division, where he scored nine goals across 28 Thai League appearances in 2016. He has also recorded three goals for the Lebanon Men’s National Team since making his senior international debut in 2013.
“We feel that bringing Soony back at this time is a great fit for us,” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. “There are certain aspects of his game that can really help us in areas of the field where we need additional support. We are excited to see how his game has matured over the past two years and look forward to working with him again.”
During his first stint with Sporting Kansas City, Saad tallied 14 goals and seven assists in 71 appearances across all competitions. He was signed by Major League Soccer and allocated to Sporting Kansas City via a lottery draft in July 2011. The following month, he scored nine minutes into his MLS debut on his 19th birthday to become the youngest goal scorer in club history.
In 2012, Saad played nine MLS matches — including his first MLS start at Seattle Sounders FC in June — and helped Sporting Kansas City capture the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, scoring two pivotal goals in a 3-2 third-round victory over Orlando City.
Saad enjoyed a breakout year in 2013, reaching MLS career-highs with four goals, four assists and 23 games played. He also notched a brace in a 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League win at Honduran side Olimpia and appeared in two playoff games during Sporting KC’s run to the 2013 MLS Cup championship. In his final MLS season, Saad scored five goals across all competitions and helped the club advance to the MLS Cup Playoffs for a fourth straight year.
Thai outfit BEC Tero Sasana signed Saad ahead of the 2015 season and loaned him to Pattaya United last year.
Saad represented the United States at the youth international level, notably scoring the game-winning goal for the U-20s in a 2-0 result against Canada in December 2010. In 2013, he became the first MLS player to join the Lebanon Men’s National Team and scored on his debut, a 1-1 draw with Oman on May 29.
A native of Dearborn, Michigan, Saad played one season of college soccer at the University of Michigan in 2010, leading the NCAA in scoring with a school-record 19 goals as a freshman. He was an All-Big Ten First Team selection, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an NSCAA second-team All-American.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs forward Soony Saad to a two-year contract through 2018 with an option for 2019.
Soony Saad (SOO-nee sod)
Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan
Birthplace: Dearborn, Michigan
Previous club: Pattaya United (Thailand)
College: University of Michigan