LAFC already completed one trade this week, and on Friday, they announced a second deal, this one sending forward Corey Baird to the Houston Dynamo in exchange for $750,000 in general allocation money and a 2022 international roster slot.
Baird made 14 appearances this season for LAFC, scoring three goals and two assists in 758 minutes. His goals rank him fourth on the season for the black-and-gold, behind Jose Cifuentes, Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi, who each have five to this point.
“We appreciate all of Corey’s efforts and contributions throughout his time here at LAFC,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said in a team statement. “We wish him all the best in Houston.”
The 25-year-old had just joined LAFC in the offseason, with LAFC picking him up from Real Salt Lake in exchange for $500,000 in total GAM to be paid in 2021 and 2022, plus an international roster slot.
Baird’s playing time since Vela got healthy again went down recently, but I have to think LAFC made this move for two main reasons. First and foremost, they probably got a price they felt they couldn’t turn down, and essentially flipping a player for a $250,000 GAM profit after about six months is honestly really good in MLS terms. And considering he didn’t appear to be a fulltime starter going forward (more on that in a moment) then parting ways makes even more sense.
Also, this deal and the one to send Mark-Anthony Kaye to the Colorado Rapids appears to indicate LAFC are gearing up for roster reinforcements. Between the two deals they have $1.75 million in GAM now, with at least some of that likely to go towards a new signing or two, while they also picked up two international roster slots for next year this week. To me, all of that indicates LAFC are getting serious about adding a player or two from abroad in the next nine months, one of them likely to be a forward.
So, I feel kind of bad for Baird, who becomes the latest center forward who has either voluntarily exited quickly or been traded in a hurry at LAFC. And he seemed to really enjoy playing for LAFC. Hopefully he finds a good situation in Houston, except when they’re playing LAFC, of course.
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