Rapids’ Ford named to home­grown team

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By John Meyer

Rapids rookie cen­ter back Kortne Ford has been se­lected to play on a squad of “home­grown play­ers” for the MLS team in an ex­hi­bi­tion match against Chivas de Guadala­jara’s un­der-20 team next month, the day be­fore the MLS All-Star Game in Chicago.

Ford, a Univer­sity of Denver prod­uct who grew up in Greeley, was signed as a “home­grown player” last Jan­uary. The league’s home­grown player rule al­lows teams to sign prospects from their own de­vel­op­ment acad­e­mies di­rectly to the se­nior team ros­ter with­out ex­pos­ing them to the MLS draft. Chivas is Mex­ico’s reign­ing un­der-20 cham­pi­ons.

Ford, 21, has started eight matches for the Rapids this sea­son and has scored one goal — the game-win­ner against Sport­ing Kansas City on May 27.

“Part of our iden­tity as a club is the com­mit­ment to de­vel­op­ing home­grown tal­ent through our academy sys­tem, and Kortne is a very good ex­am­ple of that,” said Rapids sport­ing di­rec­tor Padraig Smith. “We’re very proud of him and can’t wait to see him play against top young in­ter­na­tional tal­ent.”

The MLS Home­grown Game will be played Aug. 1 at Toy­ota Park, home of the Chicago Fire. The next day a team of MLS all stars will play Real Madrid, the reign­ing UEFA Cham­pi­ons League cham­pi­ons, at Sol­dier Field. Rapids’ goal­keeper Tim Howard has been voted to the MLS all-star team by fans.

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