Transfers

Official: Austin Berry loaned to South Korean side FC Anyang

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union announced on Monday that center back Austin Berry has been loaned to South Korean second division side FC Anyang.

“We feel that this is the perfect level for Austin to continue his development,” technical director Chris Albright said. “We wish him the best and look forward to him representing the club well.”

A former MLS Rookie of the Year, Berry joined the Union from Chicago Fire just before the start of the 2014 season. But his fresh beginning with a new club soon soured when an unfortunate series of injuries and illness saw him fall out of favor. Berry did not play in a league match after his start on May 17, 2014, finishing the season with only 497 minutes over six starts.

The loan comes a week after Berry told PSP that he wanted a move away from the Union and described his growing frustration after being told last summer that he was not in the club’s plans going forward. Before the interview, Berry had completed a brief trial with New York Cosmos.

News of the loan was first reported by SBI on Feb. 24. Berry told SBI the loan deal “moved pretty quickly”:

I’m just focusing on taking it one day at a time right now. Nothing’s really going to happen for me if I don’t stay healthy and have a good year. I’m really going to embrace this experience and I can really see myself staying overseas for a long time now. It’s a good situation and I like it. I’m not looking at it as a stepping stone. I’m looking at it as a possible permanent stop for me.

I’ve just got to get some games back under my belt. I want to go in, compete, earn my spot on the team, get some games in and show what I can do and see where it takes me over there.

Berry also said in the SBI report that he has no hard feelings about how his time with the Union has played out.

13 Comments

  1. The Chopper says:

    Kudos again the PSP gang for landing the Berry interview a few days back. That being said, this move shows that you often have to take what a player (via his agent) tells you with a grain of salt.

    This loan pretty much shows there was no market for Austin Berry. Who even knew South Korea had a 2nd division? He threw a lot of blame at Curtin and Albright for his plight, but not one club in North America seemed to agree with him and offered to take him on.

    As for Albright, he likely had an assist from Berry’s agent in finding the deal, but regardless that salary is now 100% off the books and free to be spent elsewhere. So good job in finding a landing spot for him.

  2. Anyong.

  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Albright’s comment, if fully thought out and intentional, is devastating, simply devastating.

    • I had the same thought. “Perfect level”? It sounds like an insult that was *intended* to be interpreted as an insult. Yikes.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Nothing screams ‘professional’ like a passive-aggressive catfight…wonder if he unfriended him on facebook…

      • Azog d'Filer says:

        How do you go from rookie of the year to scrub of the league in a few short years??!

      • Ask Joe Charboneau, Ron Kittle, Ben Grieve, Marty Cordova and a whole host of others. It happens a lot in all sports.
        .
        Robert Griffin III anyone?

  4. good luck…

  5. South Korea? I think I would rather retire from soccer and get a 9-5 job teaching fitness or recreational sports or something for the same money.

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