Real Salt Lake Forward Corey Baird Wins 2018 MLS Rookie of the Year

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Corey Baird
COMMERCE CITY, CO - AUGUST 25: Corey Baird #27 of Real Salt Lake scores against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on August 25, 2018 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Real Salt Lake forward Corey Baird impressed all-season long in his debut year in MLS, and the rookie was awarded Monday with the MLS Rookie of the Year award.

Real Salt Lake Forward Corey Baird Named 2018 MLS Rookie of the Year

Baird signed with RSL as the club’s 15th homegrown player, but before playing for the Claret and Cobalt he helped lead Stanford University to three NCAA national championships.

The forward joined RSL ahead of the 2018 season, where he made 21 starts across 31 league appearances, scoring eight goals and earning five assists. His goal-scoring total was tied for third on the team behind Damir Kreilach and Albert Rusnak.

Baird, who earned 42.88 percent of the first place votes, is the first Real Salt Lake player to win the MLS Rookie of the Year Award.

Orlando City SC forward Chris Mueller earned second place honors with 18.62 percent of the votes, followed by Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie at 15.11 percent.

Baird and Real Salt Lake take on Sporting Kansas City in the second leg of the MLS Western Conference semifinals on Sunday at Children’s Mercy Park. The match kicks off at 2 p.m. CT.

List of all-time MLS Rookie of the Year Winners

2018: Corey Baird, Real Salt Lake
2017: Julian Gressel, Atlanta United
2016: Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders FC
2015: Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC
2014: Tesho Akindele, FC Dallas
2013: Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids
2012: Austin Berry, Chicago Fire
2011: CJ Sapong, Sporting Kansas City
2010: Andy Najar, D.C. United
2009: Omar Gonzalez, LA Galaxy
2008: Sean Franklin, LA Galaxy
2007: Maurice Edu, Toronto FC
2006: Jonathan Bornstein, Chivas USA
2005: Michael Parkhurst, New England Revolution
2004: Clint Dempsey, New England Revolution
2003: Damani Ralph, Chicago Fire
2002: Kyle Martino, Columbus Crew SC
2001: Rodrigo Faria, New York MetroStars
2000: Carlos Bocanegra, Chicago Fire
1999: Jay Heaps, Miami Fusion
1998: Ben Olsen, D.C. United
1997: Mike Duhaney, Tampa Bay Mutiny
1996: Steve Ralston, Tampa Bay Mutiny

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Kansas City by way of Los Angeles. I was born and raised in LA but found myself in the heart of America a few years back and have fully embraced it. Sporting KC, Everton, and Borussia Dortmund are my clubs. Outside of soccer, I love watching my USC Trojans (Fight On!) and the Green Bay Packers, seeing the latest movies, tweeting, being a craft beer snob, or planning my next travel adventure. My work has appeared on SBISoccer.com and TotalMLS.net, and I co-host a weekly Sporting KC podcast called "No Other Pod."

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