LAFC’s first big move this offseason is centered on boosting their attack. The club acquired USMNT forward Corey Baird in a trade with Real Salt Lake, announcing the move on Monday.
According to the LAFC official website, Baird arrives in exchange for $500,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM). The GAM will be spread across 2021 and 2022, while RSL is also set to receive an international roster slot this year and future considerations.
Baird played 22 games for Real Salt Lake in 2020 and started 17 times. He finished the MLS regular season with two goals and three assists to his name.
According to LAFC general manager John Thorrington, the team wanted Baird for his dynamic style of play and relentless energy.
“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,” Thorrington added.
Baird is a versatile player, which opens up many options for LAFC head coach Bob Bradley. The 24-year-old player will compete with Danny Musovski for the starting spot as a central forward while also being able to fill in for stars Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi on the wing.
Corey Baird spent his early career in development leagues before signing with Real Salt Lake as a Homegrown Player in 2018 and winning the MLS Rookie of the Year award in the same year. He played a total of 87 games for them, including the playoffs, scoring 15 goals and dishing 14 assists.
Baird made his USMNT debut in 2019 and has four appearances in international games so far.