Yesterday we looked at the potential competition between Jared Jeffrey and Lewis Neal for the top backup spot in central midfield. Today we look at a guy who figures to be a surefire starter for D.C. United, for the foreseeable future. Perry Kitchen has owned the defensive midfield position ever since he started playing it full-time in 2012, his sophomore season in the league. At this point, he is one of very few projected starters for the Black-and-Red who seems guaranteed a spot on the field whenever he is healthy and available for selection.
He's also a leader on the field. When he drafted Kitchen in 2011, Ben Olsen talked up the young player's natural leadership abilities, and since then Kitchen has come through. After being pushed around by some of MLS' more physical players in 2012, Kitchen hit the gym in the offseason, coming into camp last year as the most in-shape player on the team (and ripped, too, throwing down 100 pushups on basline testing day). He's vocal on the field, helping the midfield stay organized and keeping his teammates accountable. He's still young at 21, but with three years under his belt, he's one of the longest-tenured players on the roster.
All of which brings me to today's question: should Perry Kitchen be handed the captain's armband this season? His competition would seem to include Davy Arnaud, who appears to be a probable starter with him in central midfield and has been named captain everywhere he's ever played, and new-again center back Bobby Boswell. Kitchen is much earlier in his career than either of the newcomers and so could be captain for the next decade or more (if he stays in D.C., of course). But that also means there's no real rush to name him captain and potentially repeat the mistake that was naming Dax McCarty to the role prematurely at the beginning of 2011.
What say you, snowbound United fans? Let us know in the comments who you want to see wear the armband this year.
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