BBC World Service Football Correspondent Raphael Gellar tweeted this morning that Maccabi Haifa center back Dekel Keinan is set to sign with FC Cincinnati for the upcoming season.
Maccabi Haifa CB Dekel Keinan is set to sign with FC Cincinnati this winter. pic.twitter.com/OSG6j8iYR8
— Raphael Gellar (@Raphael_Gellar) November 9, 2017
Cincinnati Soccer Talk does know that Coach Alan Koch made a trip to Israel this offseason and he could have been there to meet and scout the 33 year old Israeli CB.
Keinan has spent most of his professional playing career playing in the Israeli Premier League with Maccabi Haifa from 2002-2010 and then from 2012- present. In 2010 the CB made the jump to Blackpool of the English Premier League making 6 appearances before a transfer to Cardiff City of the English Championship. Overall he made 21 appearances in the Championship between 2010-2012 before moving back to Maccabi Haifa.
During his latest stint at Maccabi Haifa, he represented the club as team captain. During the 2015-2016 season, his club won the Israel State Cup which clinched a berth in the UEFA Europa League.
We spoke to Raphael Gellar who reported the story for some feedback on Keinan. Gellar said that he is a mercurial CB who can get the ball up the pitch. Keinan scored 5 goals in the 2015-2016 season and is lethal off corner’s and set pieces. He also mentioned that if FCC is able to sign the CB, we would be getting a “class act” and a gentleman that would be highly respected in the locker room.
While last year’s starting center backs in Austin Berry and Harrison Delbridge status with the club remains up in the air, it isn’t a shock that Koch would move to bring in an experienced player to sure up the back line.
If FC Cincinnati were to complete the signing that would leave the club with 2 of their 7 international spots left. Currently, 4 spots are occupied by Justin Hoyte, Danny Konig, Sem de Wit, and Josu.
UPDATE: 11/9/2017 @ 10:43 a.m.
one.co.il reports that Maccabi Haifa captain Dekel Keinan will leave the team in January and sign a two-year deal in Cincinnati. Keinan met this week with club president Yaakov Shahar, who gave him the blessing of the road. His salary along with bonuses will reach $150,000 a season.
Keinan told the official website of the Greens: “To leave a home is always difficult, but this is an opportunity that will not be repeated, and I am facing a new and unique challenge, but I am prepared to move to the other side of the world. Always and forever I will remain green and Maccabi Haifa will always be in my heart.”