Photo by ISIphotos.com
When the Chicago Fire selected University of Louisville centerback Austin Berry with their first-round pick in January's SuperDraft, they hoped they were getting a player who could come in and contribute immediately. While injuries across the Fire back line may have accelerated his growth curve, Berry has certainly proved that he was ready for the rigors of MLS all along.
Berry, who has played every minute of the Fire's last 20 matches since becoming a regular starter, helped guide the team to a 3-1 record in August, a month in which the club shot up to third place in the Eastern Conference. His game-winning goal against Toronto FC on Aug. 4 set the tone for another standout month from an individual stanpoint for Berry, who captured SBI MLS Rookie of the Month honors.
Berry beat out a competitive group of candidates for the monthly honors, including his former Louisville teammate and D.C. United winger Nick DeLeon (two goals, assist in four games); Toronto FC's Luis Silva (three goals in all competitions) and New York Red Bulls versatile rookie Connor Lade (five strong 90-minute performances in midfield and right back).
What have you thought of Berry's play? Do you think he belongs among the top candidates for Rookie of the Year? Which rookie do you think had the best month of August?
Share your thoughts below.