Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Long commutes pay off for D.C. United pick Perry Kitchen
by Mike Woitalla, January 17th, 2011 10:22PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  d.c. united, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS]Chris Kitchen, whose 18-year-old son Perry Kitchenwas picked by D.C. United 3rd overall in the SuperDraft, is glad that his wife didn't listen to him years ago when sports sign-up time came.

“Mary came home from work one day and said, ‘I’m going to have our kids play soccer,’” recalls Chris. “I said, ‘No you’re not. They’re going to play baseball and football like me.’ She went ahead and signed them up. And this is where we’re at.”

Brother Tyler, two years older than Perry, played first, and Mary had a hard time keeping Perry from running on the field. So she was relieved when he could finally join a team.

“He wanted to be out there so bad,” she says.

For about five years of his youth career, Perry played up with Tyler, now a junior midfielder at Marion University. But Perry played with older teams not only because of the car-pool convenience. At first, the youth league insisted that Perry play at his age level.

“After the first game, every little kid on the other team was crying,” says Chris. “Perry had decided he was always going get he ball and score.”

Perry was moved up and Chris, who says he quickly fell in love with soccer, coached his sons. But as Perry entered his teens Chris felt it time to send him to one of the nation’s top youth clubs – the Chicago Magic. That meant a commute of more than three hours from their Indianapolis home.

“We went up on weekends and sometimes during the week for training,” says Chris. “Even in the winter, there was indoor training.

“Perry learned to drive when he was pretty young. I'd say, ‘Perry, I’m tired. You’re driving,' and got in the passenger's seat."

At age 15, Kitchen went even farther to further his career, accepting an invitation to the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., where he lived for two and a half years.

“That was very tough,” says Mary. “He was 15. But he was so mature he was ready. Mom wasn’t ready.”

Playing for the U-17s meant travel to Europe, Latin America and Africa -- besides trips home. "When we traveled with him," says Chris. "We didn't have to look at the airport signs because this little kid would guide us through the airport."

Kitchen made the U.S. squad for the 2009 U-17 World Cup in Nigeria. He is currently with the U-20s, for whom he plays on the backline. At Akron, Kitchen played in the central midfield.

As to where he’ll play in MLS:

“You know, I don't know,” Kitchen says. “I've played both defense and midfield, and really it's up to Ben [Olsen]. I'm happy to do what is needed.”

Olsen says, “Well, there are a lot of spots [where he could play]. He will certainly push guys, even at a young age he is going to apply pressure, whether it's at center back or as a defensive midfielder. He's going to push the current players we have and I believe he will be a very good option for us.”

The Kitchens say they accepted Perry's decision to leave college after one season to enter the draft because Akron coach Caleb Porter said the time was right for Perry to make the move -- and the Generation adidas contract he signed includes a college tuition stipend.

"He’s pretty close to a 4.0 student," says Chris. "The deal is he’s going to finish college. It might take a little bit longer."

Says Mary, "It's a best-of-both-worlds situation."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: Pulisic scores against Man City    
Borussia Dortmund's 17-year-old American Christian Pulisic scored the stoppage-time equalizer in a 1-1 friendly tie with ...
MLS Moves: Castillo swept off his feet in Turkey    
FC Dallas star Fabian Castillo arrived in Turkey ahead of his anticipated transfer from MLS to ...
What They're Saying: David Luiz    
"It's important to be an example, especially for the kids. I work every day with this ...
MLS All-Star Game: Wondo ready for challenge    
All-Star Games are supposed to be wide-open, entertaining affairs, and if so, are tough tests for ...
U.S. women are off to Brazil -- opener next Wednesday    
The U.S. women's national team was off to Brazil Wednesday night to prepare for its quest ...
MLS Homegrowns lose to Mexico's U-20s    
In an appetizer to the MLS all-stars' game against Arsenal, a squad of MLS U-23 Homegrown ...
U.S. Abroad: Five Americans start in Tijuana Copa MX loss    
Tijuana started five Americans in its 4-0 loss to second division Lobos BUAP in Mexico's midweek ...
MLS Moves: Jones jumps ranks at Philadelphia    
Derrick Jones, the first player to sign with the Bethlehem Steel FC, became the first player ...
MLS All-Star Game: Soaking up the experience    
A guy like Sacha Kljestan, an 11-year pro and veteran of the UEFA Champions League with ...
Video Pick: Trick PK goes wrong in Peru    
Last February, Lionel Messi passed a penalty kick to Luis Suarez, who stroked home to complete ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives