Chicago Fire defender and MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry is not wasting a moment in trying to elevate his stock and standing.
Berry is the latest MLS man to link up with a top level side abroad for winter training.
Chicago announced Friday that Berry will train with Spanish La Liga side Atlético Madrid from Nov. 25 through Dec. 9. Atletico is also the 2012 Europa League Champions, so these are quality players with which Berry will train.
Berry has the added advantage of joining second-year defender Jalil Anibaba, who is training with Madrid’s “second team” until Dec. 2. Anything that adds to the comfort level, anything that helps the players squeeze the most out of these training spells, can only be a good thing.
It’s interesting that Berry has gone to Spain rather than England, where more of these training spells tend to land. It’s a more technical league, and that may be more in line with what U.S. national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann is looking for in his center backs now; a little less lean to the “stop,” a wee bit more emphasis on the “distribute.”
And yes, Berry will begin to gather more and more mention for the national team. He’s 24, which is a little bit older to begin the identification and indoctrination process, but hardly unprecedented.