KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City defender and Olathe, Kansas, native Kortne Ford has high expectations for his first season with the club and it’s personal.
During an episode of the SKC Show with Nate Bukaty and Aly Trost, a caller told the hosts that Ford should be considered for the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Ford absolutely agreed.
“Let me put it this way… The 2022 MLS ‘Comeback Player of the Year’ is the expectation. Won’t stop until I achieve this one. Team first always, but this one’s personal,” Ford responded in a tweet.
In 2008, Ford moved from Olathe to Colorado where he would eventually sign a homegrown player deal with the Colorado Rapids.
The University of Denver defender enjoyed a good amount of playing time his first two season with Colorado, but injuries and surgery forced him to miss the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
In 2021, Ford was loaned to San Antonio FC in the USL Championship, the second division of professional U.S. soccer.
He made his way back to the top flight when he joined his hometown team, Sporting KC, on January 14, 2022.
Ford signed a one-year deal with options in the second and third year of the contract.
He debuted in the 2022 season in Sporting’s regular season opener on the road against Atlanta United.
Ford earned his first start for the club on the road against Colorado and started his first game at home a few weeks later against the Columbus Crew.
“I’ve been waiting for that opportunity for a long time,” Ford said. “I felt like we’ve trained hard all week. The mentality has been different at training all week, so I’m just proud of the group to come out and put a performance together like that. The guys have been supportive, so I’m happy the way I played.”
His performances, along with injuries to players, have earned him a starting spot on the backline.
Ford’s strong defensive play and ability to deliver long passes from the defensive positions have provided a spark for the club who have struggled to start the regular season, but seem to be finding some form.
His play earned him a spot on the MLS Team of the Week in week 8.
Ford and Sporting Kansas City return to Children’s Mercy Park to host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, May 28 at 8 p.m.