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By the Numbers: September 21, 2013

8,000 minutes for Kitchen; 80 minutes for Pontius; 8 days until USOC Final

8,000
Saturday night, Perry Kitchen became the 2nd player, 21 and under, in MLS history to reach the 8,000 minute mark. The talented defensive midfielder hit the milestone in the 57th minute of the match, ending the game with a total of 8,033 minutes. Only Eddie Gaven has reached this milestone before turning 22, hitting the mark by age 19.

Pontius goes 80
Good news for D.C. United ahead of an ever-important U.S. Open Cup Final in just over a week—Chris Pontius went 80 minutes against the New England Revolution. The veteran midfielder/forward continually proves himself a difference maker when healthy, as evident in his first start in 8 games against the LA Galaxy. With his speed and skill, he is a handful for defenders to deal with, being one of the most dynamic attackers in MLS. After United’s match against the Galaxy, Pontius acknowledged his lack of fitness as an issue, but worked hard for 80 minutes Saturday night and looked sharp against the Revs.

8 Days
D.C. United’s biggest match of the season is one week from tomorrow. Though the Black-and-Red left New England empty handed, good things did happen in the past few games that prove United is in a good place ahead of Real Salt Lake. When playing on the road, having a high foul count is important to break up the home team’s rhythm, or preventing them from finding a rhythm at all; United committed 16 fouls and three players were cautioned. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid had a big game as well, regaining his form and making five impressive saves, including stopping a penalty kick. John Thorrington went 90 minutes, after sitting out the past two matches, which gives the vet and counterpart Perry Kitchen one more match to regain their chemistry. In a short period of time, Conor Doyle got into dangerous spots, and forced Matt Reis to make an acrobatic, game-changing save. Finally, the Black-and-Red found Luis Silva’s feet more times on Saturday than in the two games prior. With his skill, vision and ability to find the back of the net, getting him involved as much as possible is key.