Get to know Ike Opara

(Photo: Getty Images)

Defender Ike Opara is the newest addition to Sporting Kansas City. He was selected third overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the San Jose Earthquakes and played in 16 league matches in 2012. He started all three matches for the USA at the 2009 U-20 World Cup and during 2012 Olympic qualifying (U-23). Opara was ranked #11 in's 24 under 24 in 2010.

Opara has struggled in his first few seasons with injuries but did make 17 appearances (career high) in 2012, including nine of the final 12 regular season matches. He scored all of his MLS goals in 2010, with two of those assisted by Bobby Convey, who was his teammate at SJ for two seasons.

He was ranked by many as the top defender in the 2010 SuperDraft and viewed a possible regular for the USA National Team in the future.

Buzz Carrick (

"Opara has been the best defender in college the past two years. As a freshman he broke into the starting lineup due to a preseason injury to Julian Valentin. By the time Valentin returned, Opara had played so well coach Jay Vidovich shuffled his entire lineup to keep Opara on the field, moving several All-Americans to do so. Big, strong, fast and a smart defender, Opara is the complete package. He's probably the best defender to leave college since Chad Marshall and might be the best since Eddie Pope. That is if MLS can land him. Opara missed seven Wake games this year while starting for the U.S. at the U-20 World Cup and was still named ACC Defender of the Year, for the second time, and consensus first-team All-American. Opara has been the No. 1 prospect on my overall list two years in a row now and he should be the first overall pick this year."

Quick Facts

  • Pronunciation: oh-PAR-ah
  • Position: Defender
  • Number: 3
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 180
  • Born: 2/21/1989
  • Birthplace: Durham, NC
  • Hometown: Durham, NC
  • Nationality: USA
  • Last Club: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
  • Twitter: @ikeopara

Video Highlights

MLS Career Stats

  Games Goals Assists
2010 11 3 0
2011 8 0 0
2012 16 0 0
Total 35 3 0