Chicago Fire's Austin Berry wins MLS Rookie of the Year

David Banks

Austin Berry of the Chicago Fire has won the MLS Rookie of the Year award.

Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry is your Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year, as noted by the Chicago Tribune. Berry was a landslide winner for the top rookie honors, easily outpacing D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon in voting, which was done by players, team management and select members of the media.

Berry was thrust into the starting lineup when Cory Gibbs went down with a season-ending knee injury, debuting on May 4. He went on to make 28 consecutive starts, and helped the Fire hold opponents to just 41 goals all season.

"I'm very happy to win it, and I can't thank enough my fellow teammates, especially someone like Logan and a lot of the older guys," Berry said during a Monday conference call. "(They) helped me tremendously through the season. It's a reflection on the great season the whole team has had."

Berry was the team's top pick in 2012, but was expected to be a backup for much of his first season before playing due to the aforementioned injury. He's the Fire's third ever rookie of the year, but the first in almost a decade. He joins Carlos Bocanegra (2000) and Damani Ralph (2003), the two other players to win the honors for the club.

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