New York City FC announced earlier today that the club signed 16-year-old defender Drew Baiera to a Homegrown Contract through 2027 with an option for 2028.
The Darien, CT native joined the NYCFC Academy at the U12 level, and now features for NYCFC II in MLS NEXT Pro. Baiera made his NYCFC II debut in the New England Revolution match on June 14, 2023, and went on to make two starts for the team.
Baiera is the 12th Homegrown to sign a contract with the NYCFC Senior Team, and the third player from the NYCFC Academy born in 2007.
Other NYCFC Homegrowns include First Team players Tayvon Gray, Andres Jasson, Justin Haak, and James Sands.
Here is the full statement issued by NYCFC:
New York City Football Club today announced that it has signed Defender Drew Baiera to a Homegrown Contract through 2027 with an option for 2028.
The 16-year-old becomes the twelfth Homegrown signing in Club history and the third player from the 2007 Academy class, joining the likes of Johnny Shore and Christian McFarlane to sign a professional contract with the Club.
Joining the Academy at the U12 level, the defender quickly rose through the ranks, making regular appearances with the U17 team the last 18 months. This season Baiera has been training with MLS NEXT Pro side, NYCFC II, and made his debut against the New England Revolution II. In his first start, Baiera provided his first assist for New York City. Since his debut, Baiera has made a total of three appearances, with two starts, and providing one assist in 220 minutes.
Sporting Director David Lee said: “We are delighted that Drew has signed his first professional contract with NYCFC. Drew is a dynamic, attacking minded defender that can also make an impact in the final third. Since a young age, we have seen his dedication and professionalism both on-and-off the pitch.
“Being able to produce three players from the same Academy class is certainly an impressive milestone for our Academy staff. This feat continues to solidify NYCFC as one of the best Academies for the development of players and a pathway to the First Team.
“We see the important role our Homegrown players are currently playing on the First Team, and that sets an important example for the next generation. We look forward to helping Drew reach his full potential.”
Six Homegrowns have debuted with the First Team, starting 143 matches out of 209 total appearances while providing seven assists.
Defender Drew Baiera said: “I am excited to be signing with NYCFC. It’s everything I worked for. I dedicated myself to the game and that’s what brought me here today.
“Since I joined the U12, the coaches, staff, and the environment have led me to this moment. It’s an Academy that teaches you the right way to play football and has developed me into the player I am today.
“I look forward to giving my best every day to further my development and help this Club compete for every trophy. I can’t wait for the day to play at home in front of our great fans.”
In June, Baiera featured in the U16 International Dream Cup for the U.S. Youth National Team in Japan alongside NYCFC Homegrowns Christian McFarlane, Jonathan Shore and Maximo Carrizo.
Name: Andrew ‘Drew’ Baiera
Date of Birth: 02/28/2007
Hometown: Darien, CT