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Minnesota Aurora bus driver becomes integral part of team

Aurora FC's bus driver a "father figure" for the soccer team
Aurora FC's bus driver a "father figure" for the soccer team 02:41

EAGAN, Minn. — Many dads spent Father's Day at the Minnesota Aurora soccer game on Sunday, where the women's pre-professional soccer team had a 6-0 shutout win against the Chicago Dutch Lions.

But there's one "father figure" who never misses an Aurora game, and his name is Stephen Berry.

You can always find Berry on the Aurora bench at every game, both home and away. That's because he's been the team's bus driver since their inaugural season three years ago.

"I try to make the bus experience their home away from home," said Berry, whose job goes way beyond transportation. "I'm like their cheerleader, their assistant, their biggest fan, their bodyguard. I just do a little bit of everything." 

The Aurora players and coaches embrace him, even bringing him into the pregame huddles.

"They consider me to be one of their lucky charms, as far as making sure that they're successful," said Berry.

Berry shows the love right back to this team, which is not too hard when the goals come often. He's always cheering for the players throughout the game, and he's memorized everyone's names and numbers. Watching the game this closely has made him more of a soccer fan, a sport he used to never watch.


"[The players] taught me a little bit about soccer. I still haven't found out what off sides," said Berry, as he laughed.

Berry proudly plays "team dad" for these women, which is a role he's familiar with as the dad to two daughters himself.

"That's what makes it so easy because I am a girl dad. So it's just natural because I was always cheering for [my daughters], so it's just natural to see some other successful women and cheer for them too," said Berry.

In the last three seasons with this team, Berry has learned to have a whole new appreciation for women's sports and everything these players put into the game.

"They practice hard, they play hard, they're fast, they're aggressive, they're not afraid to hit anybody, so it's fun to watch. They're just as successful and play as hard as men do," said Berry.

This upcoming week is your last chance to see Aurora play at home in the regular season. They play at TCO Performance Center on Thursday and Saturday.

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