Sporting Kansas City has signed free agent center back Kortne Ford, the club announced today. The 25-year-old Kansas native has been added to Sporting’s roster, signing an MLS contract for the 2022 season with options for 2023 and 2024.
Ford began his professional career in 2017 with the Colorado Rapids, where he started 33 of 35 MLS appearances as a Homegrown Player. Following a five-year stint in Colorado, Ford spent the last three months of 2021 on loan with San Antonio FC in the USL Championship, scoring four goals from central defense and leading the club to the Western Conference Finals.
Born in Olathe, Kansas, Ford played youth soccer in the Kansas City area before moving with his family to Colorado at age 12. He joined the Colorado Rapids Academy in 2012 and represented the club at the U-16 and U-18 levels, guiding the U-16s to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Finals in 2013.
In three standout seasons at the University of Denver, Ford was a two-time All-Summit League First Team selection and a Top Drawer Soccer Second Team All-America honoree in 2016. He started in all 62 college appearances, notching five goals and three assists, and led the Pioneers to their first NCAA Men’s College Cup appearance as a junior in 2016.
Ford signed for the Rapids as a Homegrown Player in 2017 and enjoyed a strong rookie campaign, starting 19 of 20 MLS appearances. He earned his MLS debut in a road loss to Sporting Kansas City on April 9 at Children’s Mercy Park and opened his professional scoring account against the same opponent in a 1-0 home win on May 27.
Later that summer, Ford was named MVP of the 2017 MLS Homegrown Game by heading home a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw against the Chivas de Guadalajara U-20s at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois.
Ford played every minute in Colorado’s 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League campaign and started in 14 of the team’s final 18 games during the 2018 MLS regular season. After missing the next two seasons through injury, Ford returned to the field in 2021 and enjoyed an excellent loan spell at San Antonio FC, where he scored four goals in 13 USL Championship regular season appearances. The center back also played every minute in San Antonio’s playoff run last November, spearheading wins over San Diego Loyal SC and Rio Grande Valley Toros FC prior to a penalty shootout defeat against eventual league champions Orange County SC in the conference finals.
Ford becomes the fourth newcomer to join Sporting this offseason, following the acquisitions of 21-year-old defender Logan Ndenbe earlier today and free agent duo Uri Rosell and Ben Sweat last month. For a full list of Sporting’s offseason roster moves, visit SportingKC.com/news/tracker.
Sporting will train in Arizona from Jan. 17 to Feb. 19 for the team's 2022 preseason, presented by Children's Mercy. Manager Peter Vermes’ side will then kick off the MLS season on Feb. 27, visiting Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, before hosting Houston Dynamo FC in a highly anticipated Children’s Mercy Park home opener on March 5.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs defender Kortne Ford to an MLS contract for the 2022 season with options for 2023 and 2024.