In this corner, an absolute unrelenting cardio machine, occupying the center of the midfield with a strong passion to constantly work, we have Chris Durkin.
The 22-year-old hometown kid has been a mainstay this year. Commanding the second most minutes(1723), behind only club captain, Steven Birnbaum. Starting 18 games, while subbing on an additional 4, Durkin has been a key player at Rooney’s disposal.
Match Recap: August 28th, 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
With yet another solid display against Atlanta United FC. Durkin curled in a beauty of a cross, which Ola Kamara capitalized on, heading it past the goalkeeper. This put DC United up 2-1, in the 54th minute however the team ended up on the wrong side of a heavily contested match.
Taxi Fountas limped off early after an unfortunate collision early in the first half. Atlanta’s Josef Martinez dazzled immediately after coming on in the second half, making the difference. At least, the abysmal goal-scoring drought was over for the District.
Standing at 6’0ft tall, Durkin has all the ability to develop into an enforcer amongst the best defensive midfielders in the MLS. Re-signing on March 24th, 2022 for $700,000 from Sint-Truidsense VV, a club in the first division in Belgium, the American returned to familiar territory.
Having gained a significant amount of experience against, some of the top European talents in the world, it was a great environment to grow.
Something that would need to improve is his passing accuracy. To evolve as a player, he’ll need to be more secure in possession. Equally important, is the ability to learn from a legend like Wayne Rooney. Additionally, being so heavily required is guaranteeing his name on the first team sheet. Racking up the minutes this season will do wonders because it builds confidence.
His game doesn’t necessarily mimic a technical ability, such as Sergio Busquets of Barcelona or Thiago of Liverpool. However, he does possess great tackling, a stable frame, & an incredible engine, compare it a player like Wilfried Ndidi. Chris has 5 goal contributions, 4 of them being assists, which shows his ability to get involved by linking up in the opponent’s half.
If Durkin can channel his inner Gennaro Gattuso, DC United fans have a lot to look forward to! Signed through 2024, what’s more, exciting is seeing him thrive with additional talent around. The manager intends to convince owners to invest this offseason. Hopefully, with some new fresh signings, we’ll get to see how Durkin fully blossoms into a great player.