Former Rapids defender Kortne Ford signs with Sporting Kansas City

Kortne Ford is ready for a change of scenery. He is headed home.

On Friday, he got one, as the former University of Denver and Colorado Rapids homegrown central defender signed a one-year deal with Sporting Kansas City as a free agent, with a club option for 2023 and 2024.

Ford went from an academy kid to joining as a homegrown prospect when joined the Rapids in 2017 and in 2018 was the named Young Player of the Year at the club end-of-season banquet. He missed the next two seasons with a subsequent knee injury.

This past season, he had a remarkable return to the pitch on loan with USL Championship side San Antonio FC. He scored four times in 13 appearances and played every minute in the club’s playoff run, where it reached the conference finals. The Rapids declined his contract option, but Ford knew he still could play in MLS.

Fort return to Colorado regularly last season to see his mother, Laurie, who was fighting breast cancer at the time. She died last month after a four-year battle, and the Ford family held a celebration of life in her honor last week at Greeley Central High School and extended the invitation to all Rapids fans.

The Rapids thanked him Friday with a highlight video on the club’s social media channels, calling him “a Colorado Rapid through and through.”

Now, Ford, who grew up playing soccer in fields around Kansas City until he moved to Colorado at the age of 12, will have another chance at being a professional, or as he put it in a tweet earlier this week when the deal was finalized, it’s a “Clean slate … New opportunity … Fresh Start.”

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