Corey Baird - Real Salt Lake - September 23, 2020
Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

LAFC acquire US international Corey Baird from Real Salt Lake in trade

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Trade

LAFC have acquired forward Corey Baird from Real Salt Lake in exchange for $500,000 General Allocation Money, spread across 2021 and 2022, a 2021 international roster spot and future considerations, the club announced Monday. 

Baird, who turns 25 later this month, signed a Homegrown contract with RSL ahead of the 2018 season and was named Rookie of the Year after a stellar inaugural campaign. Over three seasons in Utah, he had 15 goals and 13 assists in 81 appearances. 

“Corey is a dynamic attacker and we are excited to welcome a player of his caliber and qualities,” LAFC Co-President & GM John Thorrington said in a club statement. “We are confident he will prove to be a great fit into how we play and will help us achieve our ambitions as a club in the years to come.”

Baird has five caps with the US national team after being regularly capped at various youth national team levels. He won three national championships in four years at Stanford University. 

“Corey has been an exceptional player for us over the last three years. He has contributed massively to our success on the field and in the organization. As a product of our robust Academy and development system, we are really proud of what he’s become,” RSL GM Elliot Fall said.  “We weren’t looking to move him, but LAFC was extremely interested in acquiring him and were willing to make an offer that we felt as a club will provide us opportunities for the next players as well as strengthening our position to build our roster for 2021 and beyond.”

Baird is a versatile attacker who can play on either wing or through the center. LAFC are already stacked out wide, led by 2019 MLS MVP Carlos Vela as well as Designated Players Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez. They are lighter through the middle after Bradley Wright-Phillips departed, with Danny Musovski the lone natural center forward on the roster. 

LAFC head coach Bob Bradley also has youngsters Kwadwo Opoku and Christian Torres to turn to in attack. 

Real Salt Lake have a glut of forwards, but couldn't find the right combination in 2020 as the club failed to make the playoffs. 

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