MLS- Chicago Fire

Chicago's Berry wins MLS Rookie of the Year


Chicago Fire centerback Austin Berry enjoyed a standout first season in MLS, stepping into the Fire starting lineup and becoming a pillar in their defense. His performances were enough to make him the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year.

Berry beat out a strong field of candidates that included D.C. United’s Nick DeLeon, who finished second, and Vancouver forward Darren Mattocks, who finished third in the voting. Toronto FC midfielder Luis Silva and New York Red Bulls fullback Connor Lade rounded out the top five.

Berry started 28 straight games for the Fire after stepping into the starting lineup in May, scoring three goals and partnering with German veteran Arne Friedrich in a tough Chicago defense.

What do you think of the selection? Who would you have voted for? Surprised not to see FC Dallas centerback Matt Hedges make the Top Five?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Rory

    University of Louisville representing! Berry and DeLeon both making the Cardinal nation proud.


  • wilyboy

    I loved what he did in the playoffs. Oh right, that was DeLeon. I’ll take Nick every day.


      • shelsilverstein

        The notion that a club’s playoff run equates to the individual brilliance of a single player over an entire season’s worth of games is laughable at best. DeLeon did not have the season that Berry did by any objective assessment.


      • wilyboy

        He put us up against Houston. We only lost because three key players fell to injuries, two of them in the first half.

        But nice try.


  • Modibo

    Congrats to Berry! He was very fortunate, though, to be playing alongside Arne Friedrich, behind Pavel Pardo, and in front of Sean Johnson. That’s a strong central spine around him.


  • A

    Few things–

    He was not only the best rookie, but one of the best CBs in the league for any age. He could be a future USMNT starter if he continues to learn and develop with Arne teaching. Who better to learn from than one of the world’s best that thanks to a late career injury fell into the Fire’s laps? I remember in 2008 when Arne single handedly owned C. Ronaldo for the entire Germany-Portugal match.

    Also, Connor Lade on any other team doesn’t come close to this list.


    • Sly

      Dont think id agree with you with regards to Connor Lade. I thought the redbulls retarded his developement a little. Due to Defenders covering for his lapses and better options going forward.

      We’ll see what he does next year. Maybe he’ll get a training stint with good team. Comeback after having been burned and be better for it.


  • jdw

    Congrats to Jerry Berry! Hard work paid off for him. I will say that Berry is already more composed than many CBs in this league and is also faster and a better jumper than at least 50%.

    There were games this year where he won every single ball played into his area, and his only weaknesses are mental ones which lead to goals. Hopefully another year of learning from Arne, Pardo, Segares, and Pause pays off. The Fire have very smart leaders in their locker room, especially for young defenders to look up to


    • Sly

      Saw him twice didnt even realize he was a rookie till the commentors. I suggest getting $5 mill before losing him for free. like Vancouver and Dane Richards. Draft/Academy well sell high, noone seems to be doing it but its the model MLS intended.


  • Kar

    Happy to see they got thIs award correct! Great work by a rookie thrown into the mix well before anyone expected. Definitely some areas to improve on, hope to see a strong sophomore season.


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