REAL SALT LAKE SIGNS COREY BAIRD TO LONG-TERM CONTRACT EXTENSION
RSL Academy Product, 2018 AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year Inks New Four-Year Deal
SANDY, Utah – (Friday, January 24, 2020) – Real Salt Lake has signed forward Corey Baird to a new long-term contract, keeping the RSL Academy product with the club for four more seasons, the club announced today.
“Corey’s versatility in the attack and work rate make him an important piece to our roster, so keeping him here long-term was on our to-do list over the off-season,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “We take pride in the work our staff has done in aiding his development and we are eager to see where his continued development can take him.
Baird, 23, has 13 goals and nine assists in 62 career regular season appearances, 44 of them as a starter. In 2018, he led all rookies in scoring with eight goals, adding five assists in 31 appearances with 21 starts and was voted 2018 AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year. He followed that up in 2019 with five goals and four assists in 31 appearances, 23 of them starts. In four career playoff appearances, he has one assist, that coming on the opening goal in a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers in the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
“I’m happy to sign with Real Salt Lake long-term,” Baird said. “Knowing the club has put this trust in me and showing they value me as a player feels really good and I’m hoping I can repay them for their trust and the fans for their support.”
A native of Escondido, California, Baird was developed in the RSL Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona, before playing four seasons at Stanford University. With the Cardinal, Baird won three NCAA National Championships while contributing 16 goals and 28 assists in 77 matches over four years. On the international stage, he has competed at the U-15, U-17, U-18 and U-20 levels for the U.S. before landing his first cap with the U.S. National Team on January 27, 2019. He now has four caps to his credit, logging one assist for the Stars And Stripes.
“Anytime you can resign a good player who has been helping the team continue to grow and improve, it’s important. He adds something to the group on multiple levels,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said. “He’s a Homegrown and we take a lot of pride in that, but he’s also made a big difference for us and he’s a quality, versatile player. You go through a lot of situations throughout the year and we know we can always put a good lineup out because he is so versatile.”
Real Salt Lake finished the 2019 season third in the Western Conference at 16-13-5 (53 points) and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals for the second consecutive season. RSL will open the 2020 season on the road against Orlando City SC on February 29 before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium for the home opener against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 7, at 12 p.m. MT.
TRANSACTION: Signed Corey Baird to a long-term contract extension on January 24, 2020.