BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Austin Berry's Chicago Fire teammates rallied around him at halftime of Wednesday's 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.
“I basically passed it into him,” Berry said after the game. “I couldn't have helped him out any more. I was too lazy on the ball. I didn't play quick enough and he caught me … Almost the whole team came over and said something to me. It was stupid and frustrating, but the whole team had my back and got me back in the game.”
At the half, his teammates and coaches told him not to forget about it. Gonzalo Segares said that just before the second half began, assistant coach Leo Percovich, the team's go-to fiery motivator, told the team that when the Fire went up 2-1, the goalscorer would celebrate with Berry.
As it turned out, Berry himself was the game-winning goalscorer.
In the 48th minute, the second-year center back atoned for his mistake, heading home a back-post header off of a Jeff Larentowicz cross.
“It's always tough when you make a mistake and the team gets punished,” Segares said. “He never put his head down and he put in the game-winning goal … It definitely gives him some confidence, especially after that play.”
Wednesday wasn't the first time Berry has come back to redeem himself during his short MLS career.
In his first start last year, he gave up a penalty kick before equalizing later in the game. Later in the season, he was part of a misplay that led to a Toronto FC goal before heading home the game winner.
“It's happened three times now since last year where I screw up and then score a goal, so I've got to stop doing that,” Berry said. “Or, if score a goal and we keep winning.”
But teammate Patrick Nyarko looks at Berry's ability to come back from costly errors in a different light.
“It's the mentality of the kid, he's very strong,” Nyarko told MLSsoccer.com. “It's just one mistake, and they rallied around him. The coaching staff told him not to even think about it, and it was an order, pretty much. The kid had already forgotten about it.”