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Hearts boss names USMNT mid Kitchen captain: “He’s a natural”

Hearts v FC Infonet Tallinn - UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round: First Leg

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JUNE 30: Perry Kitchen of Heats in action during the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round match between Heart of Midlothian FC and FC Infonet Tallinn at Tyncastle Stadium on June 30, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

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Perry Kitchen has come a long way.

From Mid American Conference soccer to DC United and the United States men’s national team, the hard-nosed 24-year-old midfielder has developed quite nicely.

The latest? Captain of Scottish side Hearts (or, if you prefer, jack of the Jambos).

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Kitchen has been named captain of the Scottish Premiership side just months after joining the club. Predictably, he’s pretty jazzed about the whole thing, and manager Robbie Neilson -- a Hearts legend in his own right -- says his young Yank deserves the honor and responsibility.


“I’ve been impressed by Perry’s attitude, desire and, of course, his performances from day one.

“He’s a natural and leads by example both on and off the park. He’s also a really good player and will inspire those around him to reach the highest standards.”

Hearts are second in the Premiership, three points behind Celtic.

Carlos Bocanegra had captained Rangers, but that was not a full-time job. This is a really strong nod for Kitchen, who’s been on the periphery of the USMNT set-up for a while. Maybe this helps get him that look over Kyle Beckerman.

Follow @NicholasMendola