The Chicago Fire Soccer Club participated in the 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft Thursday and drafted 3 players in the 2-round draft.
The Fire drafted Defender Austin Berry out of Louisville in the first with the 9th overall pick in the draft. Berry, not to be confused with the Costa Rican player of the same name who is currently an assistant coach with CS Herediano, earned both Big East and national honors in his time (five years) as a Louisville Cardinal.
Berry comes as no stranger to the Fire, as he had a stint on the Chicago Fire Premier Development League system of the Fire’s amateur club system. The Fire will not have to sign Berry as Major League Soccer had already negotiated a contract with him before the draft. As usual the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Chicago Tribune quoted Frank Klopas saying “Austin is a menacing defender who will be a fantastic addition to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. His strength in the back, ability in the air and the danger he provides going forward will be a great asset to us.”
It is unclear as to whether or not Berry will be a starter in his first season with the club, but the Fire’s surplus of talent at the position would make it seem unlikely, as the Fire already have 2011 First-round SuperDraft selection Jalil Anibaba, Dan Gargan, Cory Gibbs, and Gonzalo Segares competing for likely three positions (or the club could use a different formation to accommodate for more defenders).
Berry collected 11 goals and 5 assists in 87 career starts (plus 8 appearances as a substitute) as a Louisville Cardinal, quite impressive for a defender.
The Fire also drafted forward Lucky Mkosana in the second round with the 23rd overall pick, acquired from Toronto FC via trade, and defender Hunter Jumper with the 28th overall pick. Mkosana had played for the Dartmouth Big Green in college, while Jumper played for the Virginia Cavaliers (also known as the Wahoos) in his college career.