We're spending the first month or so of the D.C. United offseason grading each player on the roster with an approval rating. A vote for APPROVE means you were satisfied with the player's performance and want to see him back in D.C. next season. A vote for DISAPPROVE means you want United to move on without him. There is no middle ground, so please leave salary and contract implications out of your decision.
United had one of the worst statistical seasons of all-time in 2010, and yet they were only awarded the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 MLS Draft. You see, United had the unfortunate luck of being terrible in the year just prior to the entrance of two new teams to the league. And so they wouldn't have the opportunity to select the best player in the draft.
But somehow they got him anyway.
Perry Kitchen might not be the Rookie of the Year, but he appears to have a higher ceiling than any other player that entered the league out of college this season. Kitchen may has struggled in a few games here and there, but he was probably the most consistent member of United's back line. And he'll just keep getting better.
Transitioning to central defensive midfield late in the season, Kitchen was one of the lone bright spots for United down the stretch. He's aggressive, quick-thinking, and a solid tackler. Within the next few years, we'd be surprised not to list his name next to Kyle Beckerman, Osvaldo Alonso, and Shalrie Joseph as the best players at that position in the league.