Sporting Kansas City II announced today that the club has signed defender Kortne Ford to an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract ahead of the 2024 season.
Ford, a native of Olathe, Kansas, has spent the last two seasons in Major League Soccer with Sporting Kansas City, where he scored one goal and made 16 appearances in all competitions. The center back is now poised for his third consecutive campaign in the Sporting organization, joining an SKC II side led by head coach Benny Feilhaber and assistant coach Ike Opara.
Ford signed an MLS contract with Sporting in early 2022 and started nine of 14 MLS appearances during his debut season with the club. He also logged two starts in Sporting’s run to the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals, scoring his first goal for the club in a 6-0 quarterfinal victory over Union Omaha at Children’s Mercy Park. Ford missed all of 2023 after suffering an Achilles injury during preseason last February.
Ford began his professional career with the Colorado Rapids, where he started 33 of 35 MLS appearances from 2017-2021. 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 and raised in Olathe, Ford played youth soccer in the Kansas City area before moving with his family to Colorado. 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 in 2017 and delivered 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.
With the addition of Ford, Sporting KC II has seven players under MLS NEXT Pro professional contracts for the 2024 campaign, which will begin in March.
Sporting KC II Roster (as of January 2024):
- Defenders (3): Nati Clarke, Kortne Ford, Coby Jones
- Midfielders (3): Haris Alisah, Ethan Bryant, Sebastian Cruz
- Forwards (1): Pau Vidal
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City II (MLS NEXT Pro) signs defender Kortne Ford to an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract.