Sporting Kansas City’s season has been rough with injuries and struggling to find form and it is not getting any easier for manager Peter Vermes and his team. A potentially key loss was announced by the league.
“Major League Soccer announced today that Sporting Kansas City defender Kortne Ford has been suspended for 10 MLS league games and fined 20 percent of his annual salary for violating the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health (SABH) Policy. Ford tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
The 10-game suspension is effective as of July 13, 2022. During the term of the suspension, he also may not participate in exhibition games and scrimmages, or tournaments, including Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games
Ford will be eligible to play again for Sporting Kansas City beginning with the September 13 game against D.C. United.”
Ford has not played since June 22nd when he left the Open Cup game against the Omaha Union with a possible concussion. It seemed like Ford was finally one the verge of coming back to play but will now not be available until the season is almost over.
While MLS has handed down their punishment, it is unknown if Ford will appeal or precisely what he did to earn this suspension. Since it is unknown what he was banned for, it is possible that Ford did not knowingly violate the policy. That may not earn him a reduction in suspension, but it would be more understandable by fans.
Options are limited
Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes was already going to be forced to make a change in the starting lineup from the last match after Andreu Fontas received a yellow card, earning an accumulation suspension.
With a penchant for hard and timely tackles, Ford will be missed as an option. Since he will not be an option for Vermes for the match with Real Salt Lake, he will probably send Robert Voloder and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin out as the center back pair.
There is also Kaveh Rad on the roster, but he has not made any appearances for Sporting KC in league play and only a handful for Sporting KC II this season. Rad did play in the US Open Cup match versus Dallas.
Update 7/16/22: According to The Kansas City Star, the failed test was due to a weight loss supplement that Ford took in between his time with the Colorado Rapids and signing with Sporting KC. Ford and the MLS Players Association will look to appeal this ruling per sources.