The Louisville Cardinals had four players drafted in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, three in the first round. Nick DeLeon and Austin Berry were the first two Cards drafted, number seven and number nine respectively. Nick DeLeon was drafted by DC United and Austin Berry by the Chicago Fire. These two former Cardinals sit at the top of the 2012 Rookie of the Year rankings.
Austin Berry, the 2010 and 2011 All-Big East Conference First Team and 2010 Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year, is number one in the ranking right now. Berry did not make his MLS debut until week seven of the season against Chivas USA, and his first career start of his young career. Berry had four shots and one goal in the 2-1 win against Chivas. Since that game, he has started and played every second of every game this year. Berry has three goals on the season. Chicago is currently in second place in the Eastern Conference, behind Sporting Kansas City, and have clinched a Playoff berth.
Nick DeLeon, the 2011 NSCAA All-Great Lakes First team and 2010 and 2011 All-Big East Conference First Team, is right behind Berry at number two in the rankings. DeLeon made his MLS debut in week two of the season as a sub and scored the only goal in a 3-1 losing effort at the LA Galaxy. DeLeon started the next eight weeks, scoring two more goals in that stretch, before getting sidelined with an injury. He has played 26 games in the season and started 23 of them. DeLeon has five goals and four assists in the season. DC United is currently in third place in the Eastern Conference, behind Austin Berry and the Chicago Fire.
Both teams have two games left this season. Saturday, October 27th, Nick DeLeon and DC United will go head-to-head with Austin Berry and the Chicago Fire in Chicago, the last game of the season. This game carries tremendous weight for the Rookie of the Year rankings as well for DC United’s season. Losing to Chicago could keep United out of the Playoffs.