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Sporting KC kicks off the MLS season with two Kansas natives

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Major League Soccer season kicks off next weekend and Sporting KC will take the field against Portland with two Kansas natives on its roster.

Both players, Cam Duke and Kortne Ford, are from the Kansas City area, with Duke being from Overland Park and Ford being from Olathe.

Duke has played as a midfielder for Sporting KC since 2021, when he started six out of 16 appearances and scored two goals in 657 minutes played.

Last season, Duke scored no goals but had three assists. He started in half of the side’s 26 appearances and started three games in Sporting’s Open Cup run.

Duke is the 11th homegrown player in club history. He entered the Sporting Kansas City Academy in 2012 and has represented the United States youth national teams at the U14, U15, U16 and U18 levels.

Ford, who now plays defensive back for Sporting KC, was born in Olathe and played for youth soccer teams in the Kansas City area until his family moved to Colorado. He played at the University of Denver, where he was a two-time first-team All-Summit League selection and a 2016 All-America honors winner.

Ford started in all 62 appearances, scoring five goals and assisting in a further three. He helped lead his team to its first NCAA Men’s College Cup appearance in 2016.

After college, Ford signed with the Colorado Rapids in 2017. He started in 19 of the team’s 20 games and amassed 1,727 playing minutes and one goal. Ford ironically scored that one goal against Sporting KC on 9 April 2017. He was with the club until 2018.

Ford spent the 2021 season on loan at USL Championship side San Antonio FC where he made 13 appearances and scored four goals. He played every minute of the team’s playoff run last November, where they lost to eventual champion Orange County SC in the conference finals.

The defender signed with Sporting KC in January 2022, ahead of last season, and started nine games. His first action came off the bench on March 12 against his first club, the Colorado Rapids.

Sporting KC’s first game will be against the Portland Timbers on February 25th. The game will air on Apple TV at 9:30 p.m. from Providence Park.

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