Nov. 19, 2012
Louisville, Ky. - Former Louisville standout and current Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry was announced by MLS on Monday as the 2012 Rookie of the Year. Berry collected the most votes in all three categories, media, players and club management after one of the most memorable national PR campaigns seen in MLS circles.
"We are very proud of Austin and his recognition as Rookie of the Year in the MLS," said Louisville head coach Ken Lolla. "It is a well deserved honor and indicative of his work ethic, discipline and commitment to grow and improve."
With the backing of club sponsor Quaker, hundreds of Life cereal boxes were printed with Berry's likeness during the summer, but it was no replacement for his contributions to the Fire in 2012 en route to the club's first playoff appearance since 2009.
The University of Louisville product, who was picked No. 9 overall by the Fire in the 2012 SuperDraft, started 28 straight matches in central defense for Chicago and contributed three goals, including a goal on his debut.
Berry beat out former teammate and D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon who finished second in the voting. Vancouver's Darren Mattocks, finished behind DeLeon in the voting. Toronto FC's Luis Silva and New York's Connor Lade rounded out the Top 5 in the award recognizing first-year MLS players without previous professional experience.