FC Cincinnati have signed forward Corey Baird to a contract through 2025, with an option for 2026, the club announced today. Baird, 27, scored a career-high 14 goals in a team-high 48 appearances across all competitions for Houston Dynamo FC last season.
"We’re excited to bring Corey to Cincinnati,” said Chris Albright, FC Cincinnati General Manager. "He is a player with a versatile skillset and an eye for goal who will be a valuable addition to our attack. He’s a proven winner with great character, and we’d like to welcome him and his family to the club.”
Baird comes to Cincinnati for his seventh season in Major League Soccer. He has scored 28 goals and tallied 25 assists in 161 career MLS regular season games with Houston, LAFC and Real Salt Lake. A three-time NCAA national champion out of Stanford University, Baird burst onto the scene in 2018 as the MLS Rookie of the Year for RSL, scoring eight goals and five assists in 31 MLS appearances.
The Escondido, Calif. native spent over two seasons with Houston after being acquired midway through the 2021 season from LAFC, with 2023 marking the best season of his professional career. With the Dynamo playing in 49 matches in all competitions last season, Baird appeared in 48 games, starting 41 of them.
In 2023, Baird opened his career-high goal tally with his first-career hat trick on May 23 in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 against Minnesota United FC. From there, Baird’s goal account catapulted with him matching his career-high with eight regular season goals in addition to two Leagues Cup goals and his first-career MLS Cup Playoff goal in the Dynamo’s third game of their victorious Round One fixture against RSL.
“I couldn't be more excited to join FC Cincinnati and meet the fans and my teammates,” said Baird. “It’s really exciting to join a club with one of the best fanbases and the best stadiums in the league, and I can’t wait to challenge for trophies this year. My first game of the season was at TQL Stadium last year, and the place was rocking. I’m looking forward to being on the other side of things and have those fans on our side.”
Prior to his time with the Dynamo, Baird scored three goals in 14 appearances with LAFC in 2021. He was acquired by LAFC from Real Salt Lake, where he spent the first three years of his professional career as a Homegrown Player with the club. Baird finished with 15 goals and 13 assists in 83 appearances for the Claret and Cobalt.
The California native won three national championships at Stanford from 2015-2017. He tallied 16 goals and finished with 28 assists in his four seasons with the Cardinal, where he made 69 starts and finished with 77 appearances for Stanford.
Baird has also earned four caps with the United States Men’s National Team since his debut on January 28, 2019 against Panama at the conclusion of the annual USMNT January Camp, which was his first senior call up. He also represented the United States at the U-15, U-17, U-18 and U-20 levels.
TRANSACTION: On Jan. 11, 2024, FC Cincinnati sign forward Corey Baird to a contract through 2025 with an option for 2026.