Player Countdown: Kenny Cutler
How it all came to be...
Kenny Cutler grew up in Richmond, VA. and started playing soccer at the age of five at the local YMCA. His motivation for getting involved in soccer came from kindergarten friends who were all involved in the sport. His passion for soccer grew and when Cutler was nine years-old, he joined his first club team, the Richmond Strikers. Cutler played with the Strikers for nine years until he went to college.
Cutler remembers his time with the Strikers fondly because there was a core group of about seven or eight guys that were on the team since they were little kids up until they were high school students. Cutler was fortunate to be a part of a team where most of the players grew up together and knew each other very well, which provided stability for the squad.
During his time with the Richmond Strikers, when Cutler was 13-years old, he started playing for his region's Olympic Development Program (ODP). He worked his way quickly up the ranks and was a member of the Virginia State teams and Region I teams from 1996-1998.
With his success at the ODP level, Cutler was invited to join the youth National Team ranks and made his international debut with the U.S. U-16 National Team against France on May 20, 1997. A year later, he made his first appearance as a member of the U-17 National Team on February 13, 1998 against Mexico. Cutler was a co-captain of the U-17 National Team that advanced to the semifinal round in the Youth World Championships in New Zealand in 1999. He was also an alternate for the U-20 World Cup in 2001. Cutler played alongside current RSL teammates Nelson Akwari, DJ Countess, Seth Trembly, and Jordan Cila on the U-17 National Team, not knowing that years later they would play professional soccer together.
Due to much success with his club team and the ODP program, he caught the attention of the Clemson University coaching staff. As a midfielder, the Clemson Tiger scored 10 goals and had 13 assists during his career. Cutler was a first-team All-ACC selection his senior season and was named the team's MVP that same year.
Culter was invited as a trialist to Real Salt Lake's inaugural training camp at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He continued his trial period with the team in Portugal and Redlands, Calif., eventually earning a spot on RSL's roster and signing a Developmental contract on March 25, 2005. His first stint in Major League Soccer starts this season with Real Salt Lake.
Coach Ellinger's Call...
"Kenny Cutler captained the U-17 National Team in 1999 when I was the coach and he is a very smart player. He is confident with the ball and primarily plays defensive center midfield, but can also play other midfield positions. One thing about Kenny is there are no peaks and valleys; he is a very steady player."
Field Vision: Forward Jordan Cila says...
"Kenny is a quiet leader who leads by example rather than words. On the field, I've never played with anyone who can read the game as well as he does. As a defensive midfielder, he can read all the little details and make adjustments that make the team successful. He's the type of teammate that you appreciate playing beside."
Things you need to know...
Major in college:
Most memorable moments:
Playing in the U-17 World Cup, 1999
See No Evil by Robert Baer
Favorite TV show:
Favorite athlete outside of soccer:
Being co-captain of the U-17 National Team with 4th place finish in 1999 World Cup
Make a Wish Foundation