Orlando City addressed another need in phase two of the MLS Re-Entry draft today, adding keeper Josh Ford to back up newly signed Donovan Ricketts.
Ford has been a backup with the Seattle Sounders since he was taken with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft. Before that, he played at the University of Connecticut where he was an All-American and Big East Goalkeeper of the Year.
Jeremiah Oshan, manager at SounderAtHeart.com, had this to say about their ex-keeper:
"Despite never seeing the field, he managed to stick around for four years, while several other goalkeepers came and went. Part of his problem was that he just kept getting hurt. Every season before this one he dealt with an injury that kept him out for an extended period.
Ford shows lots of promise. The other goalkeepers raved about his athletic ability and his shot-stopping instincts. Given some minutes, he could blossom into a very good player. "
While Ford has yet to appear in an MLS match, he was able to make enough of an impression in Seattle that they chose to keep him under contract for the past four years. He has, of course, had plenty of game time with the reserve squad.
This leaves Orlando with three keepers on the roster. Ricketts was taken with the first selection in the MLS Expansion Draft last week to start for Orlando City while presumptive starter Tally Hall recovers from ACL surgery. Hall is projected to return in early summer. With Hall's injury, adding another goalkeeper was always in the Lions' plans. Now they've got two healthy ones heading into the new year.
Orlando still needs to come to terms with its new keeper, so nothing is official yet. Because this was phase two of the Re-Entry Draft, Orlando is free to negotiate terms with Ford. It's difficultl to imagine there would be any issue here with the career backup, but crazier things have certainly happened. He made $50,239.94 in 2014.
Here are the rest of the players taken in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft::