After four straight rather impressive performances while on short-term loan, the Seattle Sounders gave Cody Baker a four-year Homegrown Player contract on Tuesday. The contract includes option years for 2027-28. The move was necessary if the Sounders intended to keep giving Baker first-team minutes as he had exhausted his loan options. He’ll be eligible to play on Wednesday against Austin FC.
“It’s always great to see young players make the most of their opportunities, and Cody has shown us that he can compete at the MLS level,” said Sounders FC General Manager & Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel. “This signing is the byproduct of many years of growth in our system, and we could not be happier for Cody to officially join the First Team.”
Baker, 19, has been involved with the Sounders since he was 12 years old, first through the Sounders Development Program while he was playing with ISC Gunners of Issaquah before joining the Academy at 14. When Baker first started playing with the academy he was a centerback but then moved to right back around the time he signed his first professional contract with Tacoma Defiance in 2021.
Last year, he got his first experience as a left back, which proved to be a rather significant development.
When the Sounders need a left back for their U.S. Open Cup match against the San Diego Loyal a couple weeks ago, it was Baker who they turned to. He ended up locking down his side of the field over 120 minutes and even picked up an assist.
After the Sounders lost their other first-team left back, Baker made his MLS debut about two weeks later when he was a second-half substitute against Sporting KC. He then started at left back again in a midweek U.S. Open Cup match against the LA Galaxy a few days later.
Baker made his first MLS start on Saturday in a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo, completing 73 of 80 passes and generally keeping things quiet on his side of the field.
That was apparently enough for the Sounders, who are likely still in need of a left back for another week or two.
Baker becomes the 10th player currently on the first-team roster to have previously played in the Sounders Academy, not including Danny Leyva who is on loan. The signing also leaves the Sounders with 27 of 30 roster spots filled, with two of them on the senior roster.