Former SKC center back, 2-time Defender of the Year Ike Opara joins Sporting KC II staff

Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara (3) in the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Commerce City, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Former Sporting Kansas City defender and two-time MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara is joining his former teammate Benny Feilhaber’s staff at Sporting KC II.

He joins the MLS NEXT Pro club as an assistant after serving as a scout for Nashville SC for about a year.

Opara helped lead Sporting to the 2013 MLS Cup championship and two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championships alongside Feilhaber.

The center back appeared in 190 games in his career, scoring 20 goals and six assists.

Opara was drafter No. 3 overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft to the San Jose Earthquakes. He joined SKC in 2013 for five seasons before joining Minnesota United in 2018.

Despite long-term injuries, Opara returned to full form in 2017 when he won his first Defender of the Year honor.

Behind Opara’s dominant defense, SKC only conceded 29 goals that season.

Sporting KC II will take part in the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro league, a new developmental league for MLS affiliates.

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