I think all of that is fair except perhaps for disappearing for entire games. There are plenty of reasons Kitchen hasn't been called up to the national team. That doesn't make him a bad player. The US is absolutely stacked at D-mid. I'd much prefer Kitchen to Simms personally. I do agree that Kitchen tends to play to the level of those surrounding him. I also don't think there is anyone who is a must-keep on this team frankly. For the right deal, I'd be willing to trade anyone on the team. I don't think there's a core to the team although there are plenty of good players and even quite a few upgrades over last year. The question at hand is whether Olsen and the players can turn the collection of good players into a team that is better than the sum of their parts (2012) or much much worse (2013). We won't figure that out until we take the field.