Perry Kitchen

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MLS comings & goings: Kitchen, Castillo, Henley arrive for 2018

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The next two weeks, leading up to players reporting for the start of preseason, are sure to be chock-full of signings made by all 23 MLS teams. A handful of key deals have been announced in the last 24 hours alone…

[ MORE: FC Dallas block USMNT call-ups in favor of CCL prep ]

For the last three seasons, the LA Galaxy attempted to play without a functioning midfield. It turned out… well, quite poorly, particularly in 2017 when Curt Onalfo’s Sigi Schmid’s side finished dead last in MLS, for the first time ever. Enter: Perry Kitchen (from D.C. United, for $300,000 in combined allocation money), five-year MLS veteran and fringe-U.S. national team defensive midfielder seeking a new club after two years in Europe (Hearts and Randers). Kitchen, who’s (somehow) still only 25, has more than 150 MLS appearances to his name (plus another 50-plus from his time in Europe). The Kitchen-Jonathan dos Santos/Joao Pedro double-pivot is a fantastic foundational unit. 7/10 — not flashy or sexy, but highly functional and priority no. 1

After finishing 20th in 2017, the Colorado Rapids’ massive rebuild has begun. Enter: USMNT and Monterrey left back Edgar Castillo, and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Jack Price. Castillo is 31 and brings a wealth of experience at the club and international levels. Price, 25, joined the Wolves academy at the age of 8, and never left (save for a pair of loan spells) and made nearly 100 appearances between League One and the Championship. 5.5/10 — plugs a pair of holes with replacement-level (maybe slightly above) starters

For the first half of 2017, Real Salt Lake were arguably the worst team in MLS; for the second half of the season, Mike Petke’s side was inarguably one of the best (and youngest), ultimately missing the playoffs by a single point. So far this winter, RSL have made Brooks Lennon’s loan permanent, signed 26-year-old Spanish forward Alfredo Ortuño, and on Tuesday completed their capture of 23-year-old right back Adam Henley — an American-born Welsh international. As he’s only ever appeared in friendlies for Wales (and never played for U.S. youth national teams), Henley would be eligible for a one-time switch, should his development and play warrant such a move. 6/10 — a starting right back with upside, without giving anything away in a trade

Giles Barnes, 29, has bounced around MLS in recent seasons — from Vancouver, to Houston, to Orlando, all since 2016. Now, the English-born Jamaican international is headed south of the border, to Leon, where he’s been given a Cristiano Ronaldo-like VIP welcome.

Other lesser-known (but perhaps just as impactful) signings in MLS

Columbus Crew SC — 21-year-old Venezuelan midfielder Eduardo Sosa, from Venezuelan side Zamora (FULL RELEASE)

Minnesota United — 24-year-old Cameroonian attacker (2 caps, 1 goal) Frantz Pangop, from Cameroonian side Union Douala (FULL RELEASE)

Report: LA Galaxy trying to bring Kitchen back from Denmark

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Perry Kitchen’s European adventure has seen him endear himself to two fan bases in two nations, but has done little to increase his stock with the United States men’s national team.

Now with fresh eyes ready to look over the Yanks’ roster, could Kitchen be coming back to Major League Soccer.

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Kitchen, 25, left DC United in 2016 and quickly endeared himself to Hearts in Scotland, making 45 appearances and earning the captain’s armband before falling out of favor with a new manager.

He headed to Denmark’s Randers FC, and has been an impactful starter for a team in a relegation fight. The usual European place competitors sit dead last.

Washington Post soccer man Steven Goff says the LA Galaxy want Kitchen in Carson, and that a “barrel of allocation money” would help LA gets his re-entry rights from DC United.

Kitchen is five times capped from the U.S., and could stabilize an MLS midfield for a half-decade or better. Sigi Schmid will certainly have a priority on the middle of the park.

MLS Reports: Red Bulls on verge of Argentine signing, and more

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The New York Red Bulls are in the market for a new playmaker, and it appears they’ve found from South America.

The Red Bulls are on the verge of signing Alejandro “El Kaku” Romero Gamarra, a 22-year-old attacking midfielder for Argentine side Huracan, for a $7 million transfer fee according to a report from TYC. The Argentine native played three times for the Argentina Under-20 Men’s National Team at the 2015 Under-20 World Cup and has played in Huracan’s first team since 2013.

All that’s remaining is for El Kaku to sign personal terms with the Red Bulls. The Red Bulls reportedly beat out Cruz Azul for the transfer of the Romero.

[ MORE: MLS stats

If Romero signs for the Red Bulls, he’d replace Sacha Kljestan and countryman Gonzalo Veron, who was selected by D.C. United in the MLS Re-Entry Draft this week, and be following in the footsteps of MLS MVP and fellow Buenos Aires native Diego Valeri to MLS, albeit without European experience beforehand.

Here are some more reports, news and notes from around MLS:

(more…)

Reports: Perry Kitchen to leave Hearts for Randers in Denmark

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A precipitous and swift fall for Perry Kitchen at Hearts of Midlothian has reached its inevitable conclusion.

The American midfielder has reportedly departed preseason training with Hearts and is heading to Denmark to sign with Danish Superliga side Randers.

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Despite making 26 starts in 29 games last year in the Scottish First Division, Kitchen found his playing time decrease under new coach Ian Cathro, who was appointed in December 2016, and following the season Kitchen was stripped of his captaincy.

According to the reports out of Scotland, Kitchen was told he was free to find a new club to join this summer.

The news of a move to Denmark is surely a blow to Kitchen, who now finds himself on the outside of the U.S. Men’s National Team picture. He earned five caps for the national team under Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure and was a regular for the youth national teams during his time in high school and with D.C. United in Major League Soccer.

American players in Europe face significant offseasons

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This weekend’s UEFA Champions League Final and Girona’s promotion to La Liga closed the door on the seasons of the top European leagues, with mixed results for Americans abroad.

Geoff Cameron has a new deal at Stoke City and remains an important part of their team despite a frustrating time on the shelf with injury, and Fabian Johnson will stay at Borussia Monchengladbach as well.

John Brooks starred for Hertha Berlin when healthy, and earned a big new deal at Wolfsburg. You may have also heard about this Christian Pulisic kid at Borussia Dortmund.

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Lots of good there, and that’s without touching Bobby Wood helping Hamburg to avoid Bundesliga relegation and DeAndre Yedlin‘s Football League Championship title with Newcastle United.

So there’s little doubt those players will remain with their clubs next season, but several other Americans have questions about their futures. And whether they stay at their clubs or not, they’ll need better form to stay on Bruce Arena’s radar.

Aron Johannsson, Werder Bremen — Injury after injury has robbed the Icelandic-Alabaman of the Bundesliga breakthrough many expected, and he doesn’t seem to fit into the plans of Alexander Nouri. An MLS move has been talked about, and his talent would certainly push him to the forefront there.

Matt Miazga, Chelsea — There were some fits and starts for the big center back on loan at Vitesse, but there’s no doubt he figured himself out in the Eredivisie. Miazga turns next month, and will get the preseason at Chelsea to earn his way into Antonio Conte‘s plans. Another loan sees likely, and that’s not a bad thing if he heads somewhere he can feature regularly at a higher level.

Danny Williams, unattached — One of the surprise omissions from Arena’s provisional squad for the Gold Cup was Williams, and maybe that’s because the central midfielder is sorting out his club future. He’s long wanted Premier League football, but Reading lost the playoff final to Huddersfield Town. The 28-year-old posted four goals and an assist in 41 Championship appearances for the Royals, and could shine elsewhere.

Emerson Hyndman, Bournemouth — He left Fulham to find Premier League time at Bournemouth only to head on loan to Rangers. He starred in Glasgow, but more time in Scotland is likely not something he could use in terms of career development.

Perry Kitchen, Hearts — Scotland was good to Kitchen at the start, the bulldog of a midfielder earning captaincy before a managerial change cost him playing time and now the arm band. He’s expected to stay in Europe, though MLS teams would welcome his return.

Terrence Boyd, Darmstadt — Now with Bundesliga experience under his belt but relegated to the second tier, will Boyd try to leave his club in order to earn more caps?