Photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
We are only a few weeks into the offseason, and Sporting Kansas City are already beginning to look like one of the MLS Cup favorites.
On the same day that the club re-signed Defender of the Year Matt Besler, Sporting KC announced that they acquired centerback Ike Opara from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for their natural second round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
“Ike is a player we had very high on our draft board three years ago. If we had the top two picks, we would have selected both him and Teal (Bunbury),” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said in a statement released by the club. “He possesses all of the qualities and characteristics of becoming a top-level central defender in MLS. We are excited about all of his potential and look forward to working with him in the preseason.”
Opara joins a Sporting KC team that already has Besler and Aurelien Collin as its starting centerbacks. But with the club scheduled to play in a number of competitions in 2013, including the CONCACAF Champions League, there should be ample opportunity for the 23-year-old to see time.
Opara was drafted by the Earthquakes with the third overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. In his three seasons in San Jose, Opara played in 35 league games (22 of which he started) and scored three goals.
What do you think of Sporting KC landing Opara? How do you think he will fare there? Do you consider Sporting KC to be among the favorites for MLS Cup in 2013?
Share your thoughts below.