18. Perry Kitchen
Pos: M | D.C. United | Age: 22
The man at the center of D.C. United's epic turnaround is still somehow flying under the radar. Kitchen sweeps in front of the backline like a veteran, which as a four-year starter, is exactly what he is, even at 22. This year, he's added increased attacking to his arsenal, and a Beckerman-esque ability to hit the pass before the pass before the pass. Fans might not see it, but coaches do.
What the technical staffers say: "He has always played above his age. A real mature player. A leader, even if he's the youngest guy on the team. ... He fouls too much for me. He doesn't need to. Too many yellow cards (10 YCs in 2014). But he's so competitive and he's gotten better on the ball. It's been good for him this year to be around so many experienced players like [Davy] Arnaud and [Bobby] Boswell."
What Opta Sports says: Ranks third among outfielders in MLS in minutes played since the start of 2011 with 10,733.
- READ: Kitchen heads into 2014 season aiming to be one of the best
- WATCH: Kitchen springs free and buries a goal
- WATCH: Brilliant Kitchen cross sets up EJ for a goal
What do you think of Perry Kitchen? Tell us in the comments below.