BALTIMORE – D.C. United firmed up their defensive corps in the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, adding Akron phenom Perry Kitchen and two other prospects to new head coach Ben Olsen’s group.
Kitchen, the defender/midfielder who helped the Zips to their first-ever NCAA title last fall, is a native of Indianapolis and can play at both center back, where he has played at the international level, or as a defensive midfielder, his spot in the college ranks.
He’s also a member of the US U-20 team.
Despite a complete absence of five-button suits and oversized entourages, the MLS SuperDraft is fast becoming as big-time as the drafts of the NFL and the NBA.
Historically, the event hasn’t been the main pipeline of talent for the league, but that is changing rapidly, as each of the past two draft classes (2009, 2010) have produced multiple players who stepped right into regular MLS playing time, and a few (Tim Ream, Teal Bunbury, Eric Alexander) who played their way to US national team call-ups.
At this time last year, relatively few folks outside of the D.C. United family had ever heard of Andy Najar. Few had any sort of expectations for New York Red Bull draftee Tim Ream. And Sean Johnson was so highly regarded that he was offered a Generation Adidas contract, then so often overlooked that he fell to the 51st spot in the 2010 SuperDraft, where the Chicago Fire happily scooped him up.
Three different players, three stand-out rookie seasons, and three guys who show that, when it comes to succeeding in the league, “fit” can often be as important as “talent.”
MLSsoccer.com editors Simon Borg and Jason Saghini highlight the teams who came away as the big winners following Thursday's SuperDraft.
Washington, D.C. - D.C. United announced today that the club has selected three players in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, with University of Akron standouts Perry Kitchen and Chirs Korb joining the Black-and-Red along with University of Denver goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Russ Thaler and Sebastian Salazar discuss the club's recent player moves, which player will wear the Captain's armband in 2011, and the options in the upcoming MLS SuperDraft.
WASHINGTON – The offseason renovation of D.C. United turns another page on Thursday with the 2011 MLS SuperDraft — and a couple of moves made this week indicate where United may look when their No. 3 overall pick comes up.
Forward Adam Cristman was traded to the LA Galaxy on Tuesday, and though he was never going to play a prominent role in 2011, he leaves the club with only two out-and-out forwards on the current roster.