In an offseason that has suddenly jumped into high gear, the LA Galaxy announced that midfielder Perry Kitchen had been signed by the club. The deal was made official after weeks of speculation and only after the Galaxy traded for his rights with DC United.
The Galaxy sent $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to United for the rights to Kitchen when they offered him a contract before he departed for Scotland after the 2015 season.
Kitchen will be added to the club as an American player who will occupy a domestic roster spot and was signed using TAM. Meaning his salary will crest the $504,375 Max Budget for a player dictated by MLS in 2018.
“Perry has proven himself to be a top midfielder in Major League Soccer during his time with D.C. United,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid in a press release. “He has continued to progress during his time in Europe and we are confident he can bolster our midfield. At only 25 years old, Perry is already an MLS veteran and will be a great addition to the LA Galaxy on and off the field.”
He was drafted with the third overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and spent five years with United starting 155 games, scoring 10 goals, and assisting 10 times during that stretch. He then left after the 2015 season joining Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) in Scottland where he had some early success – even being named their captain – before a coaching change.
In 2017, he moved to Danish side Randers FC and played in 17 games with the club.
Known primarily as a defensive midfielder, the 25-year-old Kitchen, will join Servando Carrasco (as soon as he’s publicly announced) as the only defensive midfielders on the club. Jermaine Jones was tasked with that role in 2017, and Baggio Husidic has played in that position as well, but Kitchen will specialize in that position and will see a starting role next to Jonathan dos Santos in 2018.
João Pedro, acquired last year using TAM, is a cheap option off the bench in 2018 and will probably back up Kitchen, Carrasco, Jonathan dos Santos, and Sebastian Lletget. In fact, the Galaxy now have 11 midfielders or 11 players who are capable of playing in the midfield.
Kitchen is the seventh addition this off-season (including two players, goalkeeper David Bingham, and Carrasco, who haven’t officially been announced) as the Galaxy attempt to avenge an 8-18-8 season that saw them finish last in the league for the first time in franchise history.
The Galaxy recently re-signed defender Ashley Cole, and midfielder Baggio Husidic, plus added defender Jorgen Skjelvic and defender Rolf Feltscher to bolster a defense that gave up a team record 67 goals in 2017.
Kitchen will be a steadying veteran influence for the midfield and should fit well with head coach Sigi Schmid’s defensive focus.
The only remaining hole for the Galaxy seems to be finding a striker. But perhaps a summer transfer is more of a priority for a club that has quietly had a very good transfer window.
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