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Fire draft defender Berry with ninth pick

The Chicago Fire selected Louisville defender Austin Berry with the ninth pick in the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday.

In his senior season, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Berry was named a NSCAA Third Team All-American, Soccer America Second Team MVP and Big East Conference First Team. A member of the 2010 Chicago Fire Premier team, Berry signed a deal with MLS prior to the draft.

“Austin is a menacing defender who will be a fantastic addition to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club,” Fire coach Frank Klopas said in a statement. “His strength in the back, ability in the air and the danger he provides going forward will be a great asset to us heading into the 2012 MLS season.”

Berry, a 23-year-old native of Cincinnati, appeared in 95 matches, starting 87, in his time with the Cardinals, with 11 goals and five assists.