DU stalwart Ford talks with Rapids
University of Denver center back Kortne Ford said he is in discussion with the Rapids, but he declined to comment further about his plans for next year.
“We have a pretty good relationship, and I look forward to playing with them (the Rapids) in the future,” Ford said last week.
Ford, a 6-foot-2 junior from Greeley Central, came up through the Rapids’ youth academy. He was a thee-year starter for the Pioneers, helping them to back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons in 2015-16.
“I’m biased, but I haven’t seen a better center back come out of college soccer here in five or six years,” Pioneers coach Jamie Franks said. “That’s what we thought he could be, and he’s lived up to the expectations.”
Ford scored the gamewinning goal that sent the Pioneers to their first-ever College Cup appearance this month. It was one of five goals he scored this year.
“He wants to make this game a profession and that’s the way he approaches it every day,” Franks said. “His mentality is special and he’s a tough kid.”
The Rapids have money to spend on homegrown signings. In December 2015, MLS announced it was providing $125,000 per season, per club to sign homegrown players to their supplemental roster. The money can’t be rolled over year-to-year and it can’t be traded, a league spokesperson said.
Asked on Sunday if the Rapids had any homegrown signings coming this week, a team spokesperson said he didn’t have any news.
“He’s a piece that you can get excited about with the Rapids,” Colorado defender Jared Watts said last week of Ford. “They’ve kind of brought him through the youth system and the academy team. Hopefully maybe one day he’ll be a teammate with me.”
Ford still has one year of NCAA eligibility and could opt to return to the Pioneers, who were eliminated from the College Cup on Friday in extra time by Wake Forest.
Rapids make moves.
The Rapids made a pair of moves, picking up two draft picks and sending defender Joseph Greenspan to Minnesota United.
Colorado picked up Minnesota’s natural third-round selection (No. 45 overall) in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for Greenspan. The 6-foot-6, 24-year-old defender was selected with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2015 SuperDraft and appeared in four regularseason games for the Rapids while balancing his commitment to the U.S. Navy.
The Rapids also acquired Atlanta United’s natural second-round pick (No. 24 overall) in exchange for an international roster spot for 2017-18.
Local player plays hero.
Andrew Epstein, a junior from Fort Collins who came up through the Rapids’ youth academy, made a pair of diving stops and Corey Baird and Sam Werner scored Stanford’s final shootout goals to give the Cardinal its second straight College Cup title, 5-4 over Wake Forest after the teams played 110 scoreless minutes.