New York, NY (Sports Network) - Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry was named the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year on Monday after he established himself as one of the top young defenders in the league in his inaugural campaign.
Berry started 28 consecutive games for Chicago once he established himself in the first team on May 4 against Chivas USA, and the University of Louisville product chipped in three goals while helping to anchor a strong Fire back line.
In 34 league games this season, Chicago yielded just 41 goals, which was the second-best total in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago qualified for the MLS playoffs but was bounced in the knockout round by the Houston Dynamo, with Berry starting the match and playing the full 90 minutes.
Berry becomes the third player in Chicago history to be named MLS Rookie of the Year, joining Carlos Bocanegra in 2000 and Damani Ralph in 2003.
D.C. United's Nick DeLeon and Darren Mattocks of Vancouver were the other two finalists for the award.