COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)Midfielder Perry Kitchen is retiring at age 30 after nine years in Major League Soccer and a season as captain of Scotland’s Heart of Midlothian.

Kitchen last played on July 24 last year, entering for the last 15 minutes of the Columbus Crew’s match at Atlanta. He had surgery that August to repair a herniated disk in his back.

”In August of 2021, I suffered a back injury that resulted in nerve damage down my right leg,” he said in a statement Wednesday. ”Over the last 14 months I have tirelessly rehabbed, but my body has not recovered to the level it needs to perform.”

Captain of the U.S. team at the 2009 Under-17 World Cup, Kitchen also helped Akron win the 2010 NCAA soccer championship.

He made his professional debut with D.C. United in 2011 and was selected the team’s 2013 MVP after helping it win the U.S. Open Cup.

Kitchen joined Hearts in March 2016 and was appointed captain that September, then left for Denmark’s Randers in 2017-18. He returned to MLS and spent three seasons with the LA Galaxy before joining Columbus.

Kitchen made five appearances for the U.S. in 2015 and ’16, all in friendlies.

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