On Sunday night Real Salt Lake forward Corey Baird earned his first cap for the U.S. Men’s National Team with his start against Panama, ultimately playing 75 minutes and adding an assist in his first appearance with the U.S. senior squad. The USMNT finished the evening with a 3-0 win over the visitors, opening the calendar year with a victory.
Starting on the right wing, Baird made a constant impact on the match, playing provider to Dorde Mihailovic’s goal in the 40th minute of play. The play began with USMNT midfielder Cristian Roldan finding the feet of striker Gyasi Zardes who played Baird off of his left shoulder in space. Baird played a first-time ball across the face of the penalty area that found the run of Djorjde Milhailovic who’s first-time shot easily found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
In addition to his assist, Baird nearly found a goal himself mid-way through the first half but his left-footed effort skipped just wide of the far post.
Baird exited the match after 75 minutes, making way for D.C. United’s Paul Arriola and shortly thereafter the USMNT put home its second goal of the evening courtesy of LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman. In the 89th minute, LAFC’s Christian Ramirez easily tapped home the game’s third goal, solidifying the USMNT win in Arizona in Head Coach Gregg Berhalter's first match at the helm of the side.
Coming off the 3-0 win over Panama, Baird and the USMNT now look to a match against Costa Rica at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California on Saturday, February 2. The match can be seen live beginning at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN2.