Columbus Crew midfielder Perry Kitchen has announced his retirement from professional football.
The 30-year-old announced his decision via a statement on social media, citing a back injury sustained in August 2021, which resulted in nerve damage to his right leg, as the reason for hanging up his boots.
“Over the past 14 months I have relentlessly rehabilitated, but my body has not recovered to the level it needs to function. This is announcing my retirement from professional football,” Kitchen wrote.
“A huge thank you to the clubs, my team-mates, coaches, support staff and fans for everything over the past 12 seasons. I’ve always given my all. It was an honor to represent you on the pitch and I will miss fighting for you on matchdays.
“I also want to thank my family and friends for their constant support and encouragement. A special thank you to my parents for sacrificing driving lessons and giving up weekends for me to play and progress during those early years. And my wife, thank you for standing by my side throughout my professional career. From multiple moves to the countless pre-game meals you cooked for me and being my #1 fan in the stands – I couldn’t have made it without you and I am forever grateful for your love and loyalty.
“Although I don’t know what the future will bring, I’m looking forward to the new challenges and I’m very happy to have lived my dream.”
Kitchen’s pro career began in 2011 when DC United took him third overall in the MLS SuperDraft. The midfielder made 178 appearances for the Black and Reds in all competitions, scoring 10 goals and winning the 2013 US Open Cup.
Indianapolis native Kitchen then went abroad to Scotland for Hearts and Denmark for Randers, where he made 63 total appearances in Europe over the next two years, even captaining the former.
Kitchen then returned to the United States where he finished his 65-game career with LA Galaxy, followed by a year with the Columbus Crew where he was limited to just seven appearances but earned a Campeones Cup winners’ medal.
Internationally, Kitchen made 47 appearances for the United States at various youth levels, earning five senior caps between 2015 and 2016.
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