Quote Sheet: Berry, Pause reactions

Quotes from Berry, Pause after winning MLS Awards

Austin Berry
 
Thoughts on winning Rookie of the Year award…
 
It’s a good honor. I’ve very happy to win it and I can’t thank enough my fellow teammates, someone like Logan and some of the older guys that have helped me tremendously throughout the season. It’s just a reflection on such a great season that the whole team has had.
 
On his expectation for playing time at the beginning of the year…
 
I came into the season with an open mind. I set goals for myself but I got the opportunity come in and have guys like [Arne Friedrich and Cory Gibbs] around. It was very beneficial for me to just watch those guys on a daily basis when I wasn’t playing. In preseason to watch Cory and then to have Arne next to me was great. I just tried to have an open mind and tried to improve myself as a player every single day with the idea that if there was an opportunity for me to play that I was going to be ready when I stepped out there.
 
On when he first realized he might be up for Rookie of the Year…

I didn’t try to relish on it too much. Like I said before I just tried to work on things and get better every single day. Putting everything into the games on the weekend, I knew things would play out. The most important thing is we accomplished some of our team goals and I knew some individual honors would come with us being successful.
 
On advice for young players that would love to have his opportunity…

The best advice I could give is just to always play, always spend time with the ball. When I look back to when I was younger, there’s so much I wish I would have taken more advantage of. Just to get out there every single day to get touches on the ball and all you need is yourself and the ball. I would have loved to have taken more advantage in my younger years to get better with the ball rather than work on that now. The biggest thing is to always find joy in it and enjoy playing every single day.

On what it was like going up against former Louisville teammate Nick DeLeon for the award…

It was fun. Nick’s a good kid and he’s a very special player. He’s already had great success in this league and I think that will continue wherever he plays. He’s one of the guys that texted me today and he was rooting for me as much as I was rooting for him so it’s very humbling to know that even someone that’s competing with me on that award is the first to say congratulations.

On his first season being what he expected…

I kept an open mind coming into this season. I had the opportunity to come up with the Fire and play in their PDL program. It was a good experience for me being a young player and just being in a professional environment. We got to practice next to the first team every day so I got to see guys like Logan [Pause] running around. It gave us a good look at what the environment was like. I had a good familiarity with the team and the whole club so transitioning this year was a lot easier.
 
Logan Pause

Thoughts on winning the Xbox Fair Play award…

First of all I think congratulations are in store for Austin, I think the honor is well deserved. I’m just blessed and happy to have him as a teammate. I’m just excited to see the growth of a guy like him over the next hopefully 10 or 15 years. I’m very honored and blessed to win an award like this. Sometimes you kind of scratch your head at a Fair Play award in professional sports. From one lens, I look at it as trying to play the game the right way with respect and do things the right way. There’s another lens where some guys might be calling me a softy out there. It’s an honor to represent the Fire with such an award.

On whether or not the award means more given his position in central midfield…

I don’t think so. I try to look at something like this as how I try to play the game. I was actually reading the press release that came out that said I got called for 11 fouls, zero yellows and zero reds this year. You might say that for a guy in that position that’s unacceptable. I don’t think it necessarily means more, you try to look at it as a positive and try to represent the team well.
 
On how he represents the team…

I think I’ve always tried to represent the team well. That doesn’t mean trying to win the MLS Fair Play award but I do try to represent the team well and the teammates and club I play for. I try to look at it as another aspect of doing that. I don’t feel like I need an award like this to try to represent this club and my teammates and myself well.

On team’s style of play being reflected in Fair Play award…

I think there are several factors that go into that. I don’t think that teams are not physical – the ones that don’t foul and stuff like that are teams that get put up for an award like this. From what I’ve seen in the media and even coaches, how teams play in terms of how they handle themselves on the field, how they’re personified in the media, how they’re represented across the league. Yes we do try to play soccer and try to be a technical team but I don’t think it’s a correlation to us being a finalist for Fair Play Team of the Year.