2011 MLS Draft: D.C. United Selects Akron Players Perry Kitchen, John Korb

United selected midfielder Perry Kitchen third overall. Kitchen was thought by many to be the top rated player in the draft.

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2011 MLS Draft: D.C. United Adds John Korb, Joe Willis

D.C. United put together quite a draft at the Baltimore Convention Center today, adding two players from the NCAA Championship winning University of Akron Zips, and then grabbing a big goalkeeper in the third round.

Following their selection of midfielder Perry Kitchen in the first round, Ben Olsen went back to the Akron well in the second round. They picked Chris Korb, a defender who can play on either the left or right. Korb told Black And Red United that he attended a United game as a child and is looking forward to playing to the best of his ability and getting better everyday.

D.C. didn't enter the day with any picks in the third round of the draft, but they added one by trading two picks from next week's Supplemental Draft to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the 50th overall selection. United used their newly acquired pick to select 6'-5" University of Denver goalkeeper Joe Willis. Willis was considered by many to be the second highest rated goalkeeper in the roster, so United were fortunate to grab him in the third round. Willis will have the chance to compete for the third goalkeeper spot on the roster behind Bill Hamid and Steve Cronin.


2011 MLS Draft: D.C. United Selects Perry Kitchen With Third Overall Pick

Thanks to their last-place finish in 2010, D.C. United earned the right to pick third overall in the MLS Superdraft today. Due to the somewhat surprising selection of 17-year-old forward Omar Salgado with the first overall pick by the Vancouver Whitecaps, United was able to select the player they'd been targeting all along: Akron midfielder Perry Kitchen.

Kitchen is just 19 years old and is coming off a championship winning season with Akron where he helped anchor and lead the team's defense as a freshman. Kitchen can play either as a box-to-box central midfielder, where he played at Akron, scoring six goals while starting all 25 matches, or as a central defender.

SB Nation's D.C. United blog Black And Red United breaks down the roles that Kitchen could play for the team.

With Kitchen on board, United has unquestionably one of the most talented midfields in all of MLS. Kitchen could either compete for playing time with newcomer Dax McCarty, and holdovers Clyde Simms, Stephen King, and Kurt Morsink for a central defensive midfield role. Or Kitchen could possibly be moved to fullback or central defense. It all depends on how quickly the 19-year old develops.

United will select again with the 31st pick, where the team seems likely to try to address the forward position.


2011 MLS Draft: D.C. United Will Pick Third Overall

In most cases, the best thing about finishing in last place is that you get a high draft pick the following year. Unfortunately for DC United, they finished in last place in a year where two expansion teams were preparing to enter the league. And so in tomorrow's 2011 MLS Draft, United will pick third overall, behind the newly formed Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers.

The odds seem to be in favor of United selecting an attacking player with their first round pick. Team President Kevin Payne even said that they are "focused on the attacking players that we've seen." The most talented forwards likely to be available with the third overall pick are U.S. U-20 forward Omar Salgado, proven Indiana junior Will Bruin, and brewing Ecuadorean international star Joao Plata.

New details have also revealed that the Whitecaps may be willing to part with their first overall pick because top prospect Darlington Nagbe might not be willing to play in the Pacific Northwest. United has been mentioned as a team who could possibly move up to select the Hermann Trophy winning forward from Akron.

United could also use help on the defensive front, with Kofi Sarkodie, Zarek Valentin, and Jalil Anibaba all possibilities, but Payne has also stated that D.C. would prefer to find a veteran to address that need.

The draft will be held at 12:00 PM tomorrow at the Baltimore Convention Center, and Black And Red United will be there live to bring you all of the action.

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