24 Under 24 (2012): #8 Perry Kitchen (IMAGE)
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

24 Under 24: #8 Perry Kitchen, DC United

8. Perry Kitchen

Pos: M | D.C. United | Age: 20

Perry Kitchen is finally in his element. After showing uncommon rookie steel in manning a right back position for the first time in his career last year, he’s been able to stick to his more familiar role at d-mid in 2012. The move has liberated Kitchen to impose his will all over the field, bossing the midfield for D.C. United. Once the club settle on a system and he has some time to work with a regular cast, the calls for a look on the national team surely won’t be too far behind.

What the TDs and coaches like: “Definitely has a lot of leadership qualities … He’s very vocal and has a lot of experience especially with the youth national teams … A leader on the field with good technical ability, good vision and his passing range is good … A natural leader on the field … Alert enough that he understands what to do in a turnover situation ... Efficient, clean player ... Good athleticism, good tackler ... Solid player … He’ll be a good player in the league for a long time, but don't know if he is going to be a star … Clean and reliable player. Makes very few mistakes … He’s got good knowledge of the game and reads the game very well … He can get around the field well … I think his confidence has grown … He’s a very, very intelligent player and he has worked out how to succeed in the league.”

Where coaches and TDs want improvement: “I think physically he has to get a little bit stronger with the league, but he will … From a physical standpoint, he just needs to get stronger. If he’s playing the deep guy, the No. 6 spot, he’s got to have the ability to be from a defensive standpoint, more of a guy that’s going to help the team a lot more without the ball and being the deep guy that’s going to organize the game from that spot."

Opta Says: Of MLS field players under 24, Perry Kitchen has the fifth-most ball recoveries in the league (145).

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: #17
Fan Ranking: #19
Castrol Index (as of 9/14/12): #212

2012 Stats
Matches played: 25
Matches started: 25
Goals: 0
Assists: 1

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