It’s all bright and sunny for Soony with roaring Panthers

On right track: Saad (right) celebrating with Penang teammates after their 4-0 win over Geylang.

PETALING JAYA: Penang have been making great strides during pre-season where they are unbeaten in five games.

And this is good news for their new signing Soony Saad.

The 30-year-old Lebanese-American striker, who has won 26 caps with his native country, is playing in Malaysia for the first time and is looking to leave a lasting impression.

Born in Wyandotte, Michigan, Saad said their recent wins in the friendlies show that the side were on the right track, but he knows the real indication of progress is when the Super League season starts.

Against Geylang International on Wednesday, the Panthers thrashed the Singaporean club 4-0 at the City Stadium in Georgetown.

“The big win is a great result in front of the fans. With all due respect to the other team, we could have had more goals,” said the former Sporting Kansas City (MLS) player who was unlucky not to score at least three goals.

“Personally, I need to put them all in the back of the net. Better to miss them now than to miss them during the season. I’m thankful the team can score four. We are starting to get into our stride.

“That is our fifth pre-season game, and we are undefeated. It’s good for our confidence. The matches are a good test before the season starts,” added Saad, who also had stints with Thailand’s PT Prachuap and Al-Ansar (Lebanon).

Saad said he aims to keep on working on his finishing and sharpen his partnership with the other strikers.

Up front, it looks like Penang will be using Saad, Filipino Curt Dizon and winger Hadin Azman.

“Malaysia is always a place I wanted to explore. It’s a challenge for me and I’m happy to be here in Penang and I want to have a successful season.

“I want to help the team as much as possible and stay healthy. Based on how we’ve been playing we are looking strong.

“We are still learning the system the coach is trying to implement but I believe with the combination of young and veteran players, we will have a good campaign.”

When asked how he deals with criticisms, he said: “In Lebanon and Jordan, fans are brutal. You play badly for 10 minutes and they call for your head. I’m used to that. I take one performance at a time. I always start afresh for every game.

“The best thing to do is to take one game at a time and see where it brings us.”

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