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Catching up with the Academy: Corey Baird

After several standout years with NCAA Champions Stanford, rumor and reasoning indicate the academy product could be on his way home.

NCAA Soccer: Men's College Cup-Stanford vs Wake Forest Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Silly season is well underway, and with the eruption of homegrown players into starting roles in the first team it is of no surprise that academy boys will continue to be part of transfer rumors. Corey Baird is no different.

While far from the most reputable source, the insight here from Soccer Scooper confirms the thoughts that have been tossed around between academy fanatics for years. Since this initial posting several other pundits have thrown some of their thoughts into the hat including Top Drawer Soccer’s Travis Clark. Additionally, considering his absence from the recently released list of those attending the MLS combine, logic adds to the reasonability of this rumor.

The 21-year-old’s resume is impressive. He’s been named the PAC-12 player of the week multiple times, been involved with various youth U.S National teams, has three straight NCAA Championship wins with Stanford, and of course came out of the best academy in the United States. In 83 games with Stanford, 75 of which were starts he banged in 16 goals and 30 assists. He also snagged a brace on five separate occasions but was unfortunately never able to complete the hat trick.

It’s incredibly important to note that college success doesn’t always equate to professional success. That said Baird is a promising young player, but minutes on the first team behind Albert Rusnak are few and far between, and the jump in quality between college to MLS is absolutely huge. If a signing for Baird does indeed happen, the most likely option would be for him to pick up a contract with the Monarchs and see if he can work his way up. While ultimately not a player with the most hype in comparison to other academy products like Lennon, and Glad, he still has the whole world in front of him and it would be wise to keep an eye on him.