Perry Kitchen

The consummate captain talks about the importance of a good attitude and trying to improve.

Fvt_kitchenperry_isi_mlsjla031012091_qlead Jose L. Argueta/isiphotos.com

WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF SOCCER?

Probably kicking the ball around with my brother in the backyard when I was about five.

WHO WAS YOUR SOCCER HERO GROWING UP?

I’d probably say Nemanja Vidic. He’s a pretty recent hero, but that’s fine.

DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE SUITING UP FOR THE U.S.

That was probably when I was at U-14. It's great to put on the crest and represent your country. It’s a great honor, and I think everybody feels the same way. It’s a special feeling, and you can’t really explain it.

WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A SOCCER PLAYER?

Hard work. Creating chances out of pure hard work and determination.

WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST DISLIKE IN AN OPPONENT?

Laziness.

WHAT IS THE KEY TO YOUR SOCCER SUCCESS?

Working hard and always trying to get better. The best players in the world probably say that they really feel like they have never arrived, that they can get better. I try and do the same thing. I have a lot of work left to do but trying your best every day will help you get better.

WHAT IS ONE SOCCER SKILL YOU WANT TO IMPROVE?

I need to be better in tight spaces. Moving in and out with the ball in tight spaces and being more of a threat from deeper positions.

WHO HAS HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR DEVELOPMENT?

I’d say my dad. He would always evaluate my performances and give me an honest answer on how I did.

WHO IS YOUR CLOSEST FRIEND IN THE GAME?

I don’t necessarily think I have a best friend in the game, but I’d say most of the Akron guys here in the league. We stay in touch, and we’re all pretty good buds.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST SOCCER ACHIEVEMENT?

Hopefully that’s to come. We’re fighting for the playoffs, and I think that would be one of my greatest achievements. The national title at Akron was very special, too.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST SOCCER DISAPPOINTMENT?

2012 Olympic qualifying.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED FROM THE GAME?

Have fun. You want to take it seriously, and work hard, and win—that’s the goal. But some days don’t go your way. You can’t take it personally. You need to get out there and enjoy it because one day it will end.

WHO ARE THE MOST TALENTED TEAMMATES YOU HAVE PLAYED ALONGSIDE?

I would say Darlington Nagbe at Akron. He’s a special player and has great qualities. I think he’s really going to explode. I’d also say Brek Shea at times with the Olympic team.

WHO ARE THE TOUGHEST OPPONENTS YOU HAVE LINED UP AGAINST?

I would have to say probably Thierry Henry. He’s a very smart player. He’s good on the ball and he knows when you are going to pressure him.

IF YOU WEREN'T A PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER, WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A LIVING?

I’d probably still be in college at Akron, studying and taking classes.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE DEFINITION OF SUCCESS IN THE GAME?

I’d say going out every day and giving your best. There have been very successful players who haven’t necessarily had all the trophies or accolades, but they have gone out and tried their best and given everything they had every day. I’d say that’s the best definition of success in the game.

Kitchenperry_dc Read His ASN Profile
AmericanSoccerNow.