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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Berry not expecting warm welcome from family in Portland

The trip to Portland isn’t easy for most opposing teams. For the Union’s Austin Berry, Saturday’s trip to Providence Park could be particularly familiar … and uncomfortable.

Berry, a native of Cincinnati and graduate of Louisville, has plenty of family up in the Pacific Northwest, where most of his mother’s family lives. And they’ll be turning out Saturday night to see his Union debut when the club opens the season against the Portland Timbers.

At least, he usually has family.

“There’s been a lot of trash talk already,” Berry said Tuesday after training at YSC Sports. “…They’re not my family for an hour and a half during the game.”

Berry’s connections to the area mean he’s a fan of the Portland Trail Blazers, but he’s the first to admit he’s not a Timbers fan.

Berry has an aunt and uncle who are members of the Timbers army, and it’s likely they won’t be exchanging many pleasantries during the 90 minutes.

At least the adjustment was easy when Berry was traded from the Fire to the Union two weeks ago: Chicago is due to make its biannual visit to Portland next week, meaning Berry’s family only had to alter its plans by a few days to see him play live.

Despite the hostile reaction he knows he and his Union teammates will receive, Berry still spoke highly of the atmosphere in Providence Park.

“I actually have a lot of family in Portland who have had to switch over their tickets instead of the second game of the season to the first game of the season, so I love playing there,” Berry said. “I’ve trained with them in the past and it’s such a good environment, so it almost makes raise the level of your game being in that kind of soccer environment, so I think it’s a great first game to have and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun and be successful at there.”

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