Homegrown Player

"He's a good kid who works hard": Cody Baker continues to make an impact with Sounders First Team


The Seattle Sounders’ 5-0 win over CF Montréal was certainly a showcase for the team’s potential in the attack. But one of the brightest performances of the evening came from 20-year-old Homegrown defender Cody Baker.

“The impact that he had was positive,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “He's a good kid who works hard.”

Baker made an early appearance in Saturday’s match after starting left back Nouhou was subbed out in in the 11th minute with a knock. From there, the Issaquah native adapted quickly into the run of play, finishing the night with an 89.4 percent pass completion rate and 100 percent of his challenges won. 

“The club has a very big focus on a ‘next man up’ [mentality], especially in the last few years,” said Baker. “So that kind of vibe around the team helps you build confidence coming into those moments.”

Known for his defensive contributions, Baker has been able to mesh well with Seattle’s backline that carried the most shutouts in the league during the 2023 season. 

More recently, however, Baker’s come into his own offensively.

“He has a lot of qualities going forward,” said midfielder Obed Vargas. “He's a really fast, strong player, he can drive at people, and I think that's something that we saw against Montréal.”

Baker has made a massive progression within his game since joining the Sounders organization as an Academy player in 2016. After climbing the ranks of the developmental pathway, the fullback transitioned from the Tacoma Defiance in MLS NEXT Pro to earning a spot on the Sounders First Team roster last May. Since then, he has cemented his status as a reliable contributor the Seattle squad, earning eight starts and 12 appearances during the 2023 regular season.

“He’s done a lot to improve his standing,” said Schmetzer.

Baker has continued to make strides in 2024. Prior to his stellar outing against Montréal, he registered an assist against the San Jose Earthquakes and helped restrict LA Galaxy’s rampant attack to just two shots on target and .9 xGA. And he’s eager to better his game and those around him as the team heads into this weekend’s away match against FC Dallas and looks ahead to the rest of the 2024 season.

“My mentality is always I want to play and I want to push players in front of me,” said Baker. “Whether I'm working hard to push them to be better, or I'm coming in to try to win minutes, it's all the same.”



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