Chicago Fire defender and reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry will train with Spanish La Liga side and 2012 Europa League champions Atlético Madrid beginning Sunday through Dec. 9, Fire officials announced Friday.
"Austin has had a very productive first season and this trip allows him to continue to train and develop as we build toward the 2013 season," said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. "Our partnership with Atlético Madrid is invaluable to providing our players with these opportunities."
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In 2011, the Fire formed a strategic alliance with Atlético Madrid, Club América and Sport Club Internacional and four others clubs on a total of five continents in an effort to bring clubs together in the spirit of creating synergy as it relates to the growth of soccer, on-the-field-and-off.
In his rookie season, Berry started 28 consecutive MLS regular season games after making his debut May 4 against Chivas USA. The Cincinnati, Ohio native played every minute of every match in which he appeared, scoring 3 goals en route to MLS rookie honor.