Corey Baird’s Departure Opens The Door For Jeizon Ramírez
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Corey Baird has been traded to Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), leaving a gaping hole at the left-wing position for Real Salt Lake. Fortunately, 19-year-old Jeizon Ramírez from Venezuala is expected to fulfill the club’s loss.
The Baird announcement was made early on Monday, January 11th, much to the shock of the RSL fanbase. The message in which the club was sending was clear, they clearly believe the time has come for Ramírez to take the next step in his professional career. Now is the time for Ramírez to shine.
Ramírez will enter his second year with the club in 2021 after being bought by RSL in February of 2020 from Deportivo Táchira F.C., a top-flight professional football club that competes in Venezuela’s first division; Venezuelan Primera División.
Ramírez was unable to participate in the off-season program for RSL prior to its 2020 MLS campaign due to the timing of his arrival. Which resulted in a difficult first season in Utah as he struggled to find his match fitness and consequently battled for playing time.
The 2021 season will hopefully prove far more fruitful for the young Designated Player. Baird’s departure opens the door for him to thrive as a key member of RSL assuming he can prepare himself both physically and mentally for the challenges that MLS offers.
Ramírez was expected to be the next great winger for RSL, following in the footsteps of his countrymen Jefferson Savarino who played a pivotal role in helping RSL succeed during his time with the club. Ramírez, however, joined RSL at a younger age than Savarino did and it became apparent that the development and growth of Ramírez was going to take patience from the club.
2021 promises to be a year in which RSL regains its spot in the MLS Playoffs. The club has endured a stretch of traumatic and catastrophic events, but light is emerging and the club hopes greener pastures present themselves imminently.
Ramírez has the potential to take over games, much like Savarino was able to do on numerous occasions, simply through his ability to dribble past multiple defenders. His talent is promising.
But, the issue that Ramírez has faced thus far in North America is an issue that many South American players struggle with. MLS is a very physical league, it demands effort and requires gut-wrenching running.
Unlike in South America, MLS players are expected to cover the entire pitch. Wingers must help out defensively just how they hope to impact the attack. Ramírez struggled with getting back in transition, he often left the defensive full-back in precarious positions as he was unable to offer any help defensively.
A full pre-season should help him. Making sure his body is in the best shape it possibly can be will only help his mind grow stronger.
Nonetheless, the year 2021 will be telling in more ways than one. The club, however, will be keeping a close eye on the production of Ramírez with the hope that he can transition his game and take it to the next level.