As you might expect from a Championship winning freshman who was just selected third overall in the 2011 MLS Draft, Perry Kitchen is a rather quiet young man. I got the chance to speak with him shortly after he became the newest member of D.C. United, and he spoke of the hard work and energy that it will take to be a part of Olsen's Army (my words, not his unfortunately).
In reference to being selected with the first draft pick under the Ben Olsen regime, Kitchen immediately pointed to the "determination and desire" that has allowed him to prosper as a soccer player. He said he knows that Olsen is "hard-nosed and loves to win", and he expects to continue that "tradition" (yes, his word, not mine).
I asked Kitchen next who he's looking forward to playing with at United and he pointed to fellow U-20 players Conor Shanosky and Ethan White. It will surely be a big help to have some familiarity with a few of his teammates. I also asked Kitchen what MLS players he looked up to and modeled his game after when growing up. He gave about the best answer I could imagine.
One of my favorite players was Eddie Pope. He's actually the reason I wore No. 23.
Well there ya go. Just like Pope, Kitchen has scored some big goals in his days, and he's got half the talent of Pope, we've got a real good player on our hands.
To close things out, Kitchen gave the requisite shout-out to United's awesome fans.
They've been great. I can't wait to see them at the game.
We agree, Perry. On both accounts.