Perry Kitchen return in time for Hearts’ Europa League qualifiers in doubt after US progress in Copa America



HEARTS’ chances of having midfielder Perry Kitchen back for the start of their Europa League campaign later this month have suffered a blow after the United States progressed to the quarter-finals of the Copa America.

The 24-year-old was an unused substitute as the Americans defeated Paraguay 1-0 with a Clint Dempsey goal in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Following Costa Rica’s surprise 3-2 win over Colombia hours later, it means Jurgen Klinsmann’s side top Group A and are through to the last-eight of the tournament later this week.


With Kitchen’s involvement at the competition now extended to at least Thursday – and with Hearts keen for the former DC United player to enjoy some rest before returning to club duty – it now seems highly unlikely the Indianapolis-born play-maker will be involved in the Jambos’ first round qualifier on June 30 and July 7.

Should the US progress any further, the semi-finals are scheduled to take place on June 21 and the final five days later, further delaying Kitchen’s likely return to Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, Hearts have announced record season-ticket sales after breaking through the 13,500 barrier set last year.

Tynecastle is set to host another campaign of sell-out crowds, with only a limited number of season-tickets still available ahead of today’s deadline for phase-one pricing.