Union acquire defender Austin Berry from Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money

Club adds 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year to bolster central defense

Austin Berry signing image

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USA Today Sports Images

Philadelphia Union have acquired central defender Austin Berry from the Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money, the club announced today. Berry, the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year, joins the Union after making 62 appearances for Chicago during the previous two years. Per MLS and club policy, exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Austin is a talented central defender that will add quality to our back line,” team manager John Hackworth said. “He already has a lot of MLS experience and we think he is the right fit to help strengthen our central defense. We’re happy to have a player of his caliber and look forward to him joining the team.”

Berry, 25, has been an anchor for the Chicago Fire defense during the past two years, where he made over 60 appearances after being drafted ninth overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. He started in 28 games during his rookie campaign, making his debut May 4 against Chivas USA, where he scored in the 25th minute. With his goal, Berry became only the third Chicago Fire player to score in his debut. He notched a total of three goals in 2012 and logged over 2,500 minutes en route to being named the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year. He added to his experience the following year, where Berry started all of Chicago’s 34 MLS matches and played every minute of the year, helping Chicago boast the fifth best goals against average (1.22) in the League.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Berry attended the University of Louisville from 2007-2011. He played in 94 games during his time as a Cardinal, where he was a two-time NSCAA All American player (2010, 2011). Berry was also a three-time All-Big East Team member (2008, 2010, 2011) and earned Big East Defender of the year honors as a Junior (2010).

Berry will join the Union this week for preseason training in Deltona, Fla.

The Union begin their 2014 MLS campaign on the road at Providence Park against the Portland Timbers on March 8 (10:30 p.m. ET, CSN), with the home opener at PPL Park played March 15 against the New England Revolution (4 p.m. ET, CSN), presented by Farmers Insurance.

Name: Austin Berry

Position: Defender

Age: 25

Birthdate: 10/6/1988

Height: 6-2

Weight: 188

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

School: University of Louisville

Previous Club: Chicago Fire