RSL Soapbox Player Rating: 5.59
Fan Player Rating: 5.55
Corey Baird had a solid, albeit somewhat quieter year in 2019. The challenge with having a Rookie of the Year worthy season in 2018 is that everyone expects you to have an even better second season. These were key factors in Corey finishing 13th in player ratings across all of the RSL roster.
While I certainly fell into this category early in the year, it is important to temper expectations with the realization that 2019 was only Corey’s second year as a professional soccer player. When we stop and realize that Corey is only 23 years old, was called up to the national team four times and had to deal with a lot of front office turmoil we see that he managed it all very well.
Corey played the same number of games in 2019 as he did in 2018 at 33 total games for RSL. He saw his minutes increase from 1,975 last year to 2,254 this year. In terms of offensive output he had 5 goals and 5 assists for RSL in 2019, a slight drop from 8 goals and 5 assists in 2018, but the style of play in 2019 also required more defensive effort from him as we saw total goals drop across the team.
Baird was able to finish toward the top of the team in statistical categories important to any attacker, finishing 5th with 5 total goals and tied for 1st on the team in assists, also with 5.
Also worth noting is that despite fierce competition at his position, he was able to hold off Bofo Saucedo and Joao Plata for the regular starting role on the left wing. It can be assumed that this played a big part in Bofo looking to make a move elsewhere after his contract expired.
So while Corey didn’t win any league-wide awards like he did last year, he proved that he is a capable starter who has a lot of upside and potential for next year and many years to come.