Rapids Loan Watch: Ford To Face Powers In Conference Final
Kortne Ford’s comeback season will continue after San Antonio FC beat Texas rivals Rio Grande Valley 3-1 at home on Saturday night to reach the USL Championship's Western Conference Final for the first time in their history.
On loan from the Colorado Rapids, the defender joined San Antonio in mid-August when the side was 6-5-6 after 17 games. In the final 15 outings of the regular season, and with Ford among their ranks, San Antonio went an impressive 8-3-4, with the Rapids homegrown playing in 13 of those games, scoring four goals.
Ford has since featured in both playoff games, a 2-0 win over San Diego Loyal, followed by the victory over RGV.
It has been quite the fairytale for Ford, who went almost three years between competitive action after a series of knee operations threatened his career. He has made 35 MLS appearances for the Rapids, making his debut in a 3-1 defeat at Sporting Kansas City in April 2017. His most recent game for the Rapids came at San Jose Earthquakes on October 21, 2018.
Next for the 25-year-old and San Antonio is a trip to Orange County, who squeezed past Oakland Roots 6-5 on penalties after the sides were level at 0-0 after 120 minutes. He will face the man who was a teammate in his Rapids debut, former MLS Rookie of the Year, Dillon Powers.
Earlier on Saturday, the Rapids’ former USL affiliate, Charlotte Independence lost 1-0 at Louisville City at the Eastern Conference semifinal stage, with the game’s only goal coming from the penalty spot in the 89th minute. The Independence went into the contest as the form team in USL, with an 11-1-1 record in the previous 13 games.
About the author: Since 2013, Richard Fleming has been the TV commentator and host, covering the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer. During 16 years with the BBC, he covered two FIFA World Cups, five Africa Cup of Nations, a FIFA Confederations Cup, and a European Championship. He has also covered UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, and football at all levels of the game during more than 30 years covering the sport.