Ike Opara

New England Revolution

Some Soccer News for Jan 12, 2018

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It's Day 12 of 2018.


Atlanta has set a new MLS record for transfer fee paid. They are signing 18 year old Ezequiel Barco from Independiente in Argentina for $15 Million. Wow.

Orlando City announced that they will NOT field a team in division 2 USL this season.

MLS Team Of Week: What Two Revs Made It

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A look at the whoscored.com MLS Team of the Week shows that for the first time, two New England Revolution players made the Best X1 as Chris Tierney and Kelyn Rowe impressed in the Revs win over the San Jose Earthquakes at the weekend.

With his two goals I thought that Rowe had a chance for Player of the Week honors, but his performance was only the second best performance of week four as Sporting Kansas defender Ike Opara had an even better day in SKC's 1-0 win over New York City FC.

Sporting Kansas City

Giovinco, Almiron, Valeri headline MLS Best XI

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With MLS Cup right around the corner, the league has announced the 11 players that make up the 2017 Best XI.

Sebastian Giovinco, Miguel Almiron and Diego Valeri headline the MLS Best XI determined by media, MLS players and MLS technical staff. Toronto FC leads the way with three representatives as Giovinco is joined by Justin Morrow and Victor Vasquez while Atlanta United and Sporting KC each see two players named to the squad.

Ike Opara returns to practice with Sporting KC

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Photo by Stan Szeto/USA Today Sports

Several weeks after suffering a frightening injury, Ike Opara is back on the field.

According to the Kansas City Star, Opara participated in team drills on Tuesday for the first time since suffering a concussion in U.S. Open Cup action on July 11.

Sporting KC's Opara diagnosed with severe concussion after scary kick to head

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Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you've heard this before. Ike Opara, on the cusp of a season that would cement him as one of the best defenders in MLS, will miss extended time due to an unfortunate injury.

In a very scary moment, the Sporting Kansas City defender went to head a ball away from FC Dallas' Maxi Urruti, whose attempted bicycle kick caught Opara square in the face.

Sporting KC locks up core by signing 'package deal' of Opara, Feilhaber

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Photo by Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports

The Sporting Kansas City careers of Ike Opara and Benny Feilhaber have always been somewhat connected. Ahead of the 2014 MLS season, the two were traded to Sporting KC just one day apart, signaling the start of a new era for both players and the club for which they now played.

Sporting KC Re-Sign Feilhaber and Opara

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Sporting KC was busy today announcing that the club had re-signed two players who had played a large role in the 2016 season. The biggest news belonged to the re-signing of Benny Feilhaber. The news, which had been rumored for the last two days was confirmed with the club announcing that they had signed Feilhaber to a new two year deal with the club.

S.A.S. Wednesday After Stats

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The loss was the first home loss in CONCACAF international competitions for Sporting KC.

By the end of the night, Seth Sinovic had moved into 5th place for Sporting KC for minutes played in international competitions, finishing the game with 937 minutes played.

In the 45th minute, Sinovic moved back ahead of Roger Espinoza and into 13th place for minutes played in all competitions, finishing the game with 14,020 minutes played in all competitions.

Scoring balance vital for Sporting KC's good form

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Photo by Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

As the goal that sealed a 3-1 win and extended an unbeaten streak to five, Sporting KC center back Ike Opara's 51st minute goal sent a few important messages.

The first was that Opara was back, performing at the level Sporting KC knows he can, as Opara put in a strong defensive effort against MLS's leading scorer David Villa.

Survive and Advance

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Knock out competitions aren't about looking good or necessarily being the better team, knock out competitions are all about surviving and advancing to the next round. Tonight in Minnesota, Sporting KC did just that, surviving a very physical game with Minnesota United, at game that saw 42 fouls, a shoving match, two penalty kicks awarded, and 11 yellow cards (surprisingly no reds), to advance 2-1 after extra time thanks to a goal by Diego Rubio.

D.C. United's Kamara delivers late winner in MLS debut

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Bad weather kept on pushing D.C. United's visit to Sporting Kansas City back, but it couldn't stop the visitors from escaping the Midwest with three hard-earned points.

D.C. forward Alhaji Kamara made his MLS debut a memorable one, scoring less than a minute after entering the match to help give D.

Better Than Saturday, But Far From Good

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Sporting KC were unable to stop their current skid and extended their winless streak to seven games with a 1-0 loss against the Colorado Rapids. Making four changes to the lineup that lost 2-0 on the weekend, including club captain and vice captain Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, along with the team's reigning MVP Benny Feilhaber, as Peter Vermes hoped to find a way to end the club's run without a win.

A Look Back at my 2015 Wants and Wishes

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With 2015 about to end, here's a look at my 2015 wants and wishes and how they turned out ahead of the calendar switch to 2016.

1. Silverware - Silverware is always fun and this year Kansas City soccer teams brought home two trophies. Sporting KC started the season off strong and for a period of time looked to be one of the favorites to win MLS Cup.

Palmer-Brown Called into US U20 Camp

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US Soccer today announced Tab Ramos' roster that had been called in for a US U20 camp in Linz, Austria ahead of this summer's U20 World Cup in New Zealand. Sporting Kansas City center back, Erik Palmer-Brown was named to the 20 man roster that will train in the central European country from April 18th through the 26th.

Opara Out with Ruptured Achilles Tendon

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The news regarding the injury that Ike Opara picked up in Sporting's 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake is not good, the team announced today that the center back, and team's leading scorer had ruptured his Achilles Tendon. Opara will now miss at least four months and could be out for the season recovering from the injury.

HOW TO WATCH And GAME THREAD: Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union

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Will this be the Union's first win of the season?

Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS
April 5, 2015
FS1 - John Strong and Alexi Lalas, Reporter: Julia Stewart-Banks
TBG Game Preview
Know Thy Enemy: The Blue Testament
Starting XI
Jacob Peterson, Dominic Dwyer, Jimmy Medranda Forward Fernando Aristeguieta
Roger Espinoza, Servando, Carrasco, Benny Feilhaber Midfield

Sebastien Le Toux, Eric Ayuk Mbu, Andrew Wenger

Michael Lahoud, Brian Carroll

Marcel de Jong, Matt Besler, Ike Opara, Jalil Anibaba Defense Fabinho, Steven Vitoria, Maurice Edu, Ray Gaddis
Luis Marin Goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi
Tim Melia, Seth Sinovic, Kevin Ellis, Paulo Nagamura, Soni Mustivar, Bernardo Anor, Krisztian Nemeth Bench John McCarthy, Raymond Lee, Vincent Nogueira, Jimmy McLaughlin, C.

Sporting Get Off the Mark

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It wasn't a pretty game last night at Yankee Stadium between Sporting KC and New York City FC, but KC made an early goal from Ike Opara stand up for their first win of the season. The game should have brought back some not so good memories to KC fans watching the game take place in a baseball stadium.

Sporting's Defense Cleans Up, but Offense Still Lacks in 0-0 Draw

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Sporting Kansas City is off to their worst start to the season since 1999. Last night at Sporting Park made it three straight to start the season without a win as they played the Portland Timbers to a 0-0 draw. The defense stepped up against a Portland team that has shown to cause Kansas City trouble on the counter in the past, shutting out the Timbers offense while Luis Marin came up with saves when he was called upon.

Sporting KC Open Preseason with Loss to Portland

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Sporting Kansas City opened the 2015 season with a loss in their first preseason game, 2-0 to the Portland Timbers.

Sporting kicked off without a number of players, beside Matt Besler and Jon Kempin who are still with the US national team, Roger Espinoza, Chance Myers, Ike Opara, Saad Abdul-Salaam, and Graham Zusi all sat out the game for Kansas City.

2015 Wishes

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Time to make my wishes for the year 2015. Yesterday I reviewed my wishes for 2014, so let's move forward.

1. Silverware - As always, number 1 on the list is trophies. I want more trophies. For a period of time last year, Kansas City held the MLS Cup, NWSL championship, and MISL title all at the same time.

Sporting's Protected and Exposed List for the Expansion Draft

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With all the changes that Sporting KC has made near the end of the season there wasn't a lot of flexibility with who the team would choose to protect in this year's expansion draft. After the automatic protection of Kevin Ellis, Jon Kempin, Mikey Lopez, and Erik Palmer-Brown, there aren't a lot of players left on KC's roster to choose from.

Match Day 15: Just Get to the Break Without Another Injury

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It's been a less than ideal run up to the World Cup break for Sporting KC. Heading into the final game before the World Cup break, KC is on a five game winless run. Not only that but they've been doing it while having to put the back line together with duck tape losing not just Matt Besler to the US team, but already being without Ike Opara, and losing Aurelien Collin and Chance Myers to injury, Oriol Rosell to an injury and eventually a transfer, Lawrence Olum to a call up, and Erik Palmer-Brown for a game due to a red card.

Myers Done for the Season

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Sporting KC's injury crisis in defense continues. The rumors that the injury Chance Myers picked up on Friday night being severe are true. Today the team announced that Myers will have surgery Wednesday to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon in his left ankle.

The injury is the last bit of news that Sporting needed at this point.

TFC come back twice in second half to draw Sporting KC

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Against the odds with a weakened side and reduced to ten men, Toronto FC showed terrific mental strength and desire to produce a positive performance on the road.

Playing a rare Friday night match at Sporting Park, TFC came back from a goal down on two occasions to draw Sporting Kansas City, 2-2.

Romain Alessandrini

Some Soccer News for Nov 10, 2017

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It's Day 314 of 2017.

Stefano Pinho of Miami named winner of NASL Golden Ball
-Huge congrats to him.


NASL Final on Sunday, and USL Final on Monday.
(see below for details)


du Nord Futbol's 2017 MLS Awards:

MVP: Diego Valeri

Newcomer: Josef Martinez

Rookie: Julian Gressel

Coach: Veljko Paunovic

Best 11:
  • G (1) Tim Melia
  • D (4) Tyler Adams, Roman Torres, Ike Opara, Justin Morrow
  • M (4) Diego Valeri, Michael Bradley, Romain Alessandrini, Victor Vazquez
  • F (2) David Villa, Josef Martinez


I was the guest on a podcast this week, talking MNUFC and many other hot topics, hosted by two slightly askew guys - The Dave's I Know.

Some Soccer News for Nov 9, 2017

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It's Day 313 of 2017.

du Nord Futbol's 2017 MLS Awards:

MVP: Diego Valeri

Newcomer: Josef Martinez

Rookie: Julian Gressel

Coach: Veljko Paunovic

Best 11:
  • G (1) Tim Melia
  • D (4) Tyler Adams, Roman Torres, Ike Opara, Justin Morrow
  • M (4) Diego Valeri, Michael Bradley, Romain Alessandrini, Victor Vazquez
  • F (2) David Villa, Josef Martinez


I made a podcast appearance with two slightly twisted guys last night - The Dave's I know.

Benny Feilhaber

Pontius named MLS Comeback Player of the Year, Blake named PST’s Goalkeeper of the Year, more

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More end-of-season awards for the Union. Villanova, Delaware, and Rider begin NCAA championship tournament play tonight. More Klinsmann talk.

Sunday After Stats

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Paulo Nagamura made his 250th league appearance of his MLS career.

Dom Dwyer's goal was his 23rd away from home in all competitions for KC, tying him with Josh Wolff for the second most all time for KC.

Benny Feilhaber's assist was his 36th for KC, breaking his tie with Davy Arnaud for 4th all time on that list.

Postgame video and quotes: Union 2-0 KC

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Mike and Matthew's postgame wrap. Postgame comments from Jim Curtin, Roland Alberg, Andre Blake, and Keegan Rosenberry.

S.A.S. Monday After Stats

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Jimmy Medranda's goal was his first for the team.

Medranda's goal was the 150th league goal scored by KC at Children's Mercy Park.

At 22 years, 154 days, Medranda became the 13th youngest player to score a goal for KC in league play, he knocked Jack Jewsbury out of the top 20.

S.A.S Monday After Stats

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Jacob Peterson made his 200th league appearance in his MLS career.

Ike Opara made his 50th start in all competitions in his MLS career.

Benny Feilhaber recorded his 17th assist in all competitions for KC, tying him with Claudio Lopez for 16th all time on that list.

Matt Besler picked up his second red card of his MLS career, which ties him with 7 others for 7th on the list in KC's history.

Chance Myers

S.A.S. Friday After Stats

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Since I was away for the DC game, here are stats from both last week's DC game and last night's game vs LA.

Vs DC.

At 33 years, 86 days, Paulo Nagamura became the 17th oldest player to start a league game for KC, knocking Diego Gutierrez out of the top 20.

He also became the 18th oldest player to start a game in all competitions, knocking Uche Okafor off the top 20.

Sporting KC Season Preview - Defenders

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Today on the preview of Sporting KC's roster ahead of the 2016 MLS season we'll take a look at the defenders. With today's announcement about the mutual termination of Marcel de Jong's contract there is one fewer defender on the roster for Sporting KC. The loss of de Jong though doesn't appear to be too big as the team is still two deep at each position along the back line at this time.

Season Review - Defenders - Once Again Injuries Plague the Back Line

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Continuing to work up from the back on our review of the Sporting Kansas City season, we reach the defense. You can read my review of the goalkeeper position here. Sporting's defense in 2015 suffered one of the main issues that plagued the team during their 2014 run. Injuries were a big issue for the team with Chance Myers, Ike Opara, and Seth Sinovic, all three considered starters, missed considerable time due to different injuries.

What Happened and Where Do We Go From Here - Defenders

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Yesterday I looked at Sporting KC's goalkeeping play in the 2014 season and what to look ahead to in the 2015 season. Now I'm going to look at Kansas City's defense.

The stories written about Kansas City's 2014 season will always talk about the bulk of injuries that Kansas City suffered through in the 2014 season.

Who Starts at Center Back Sunday?

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Sporting Kansas City came into the 2014 season with five center backs on their roster, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Lawrence Olum, Ike Opara, and Erik Palmer-Brown. With Besler set to miss about a month in May for the World Cup, it seemed that the four other central defenders on KC's roster would be able to shoulder the load through May and June until Besler's return.

The Rest

SBI QOTD: Which USMNT newcomer are you most excited to see in January camp?

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The U.S. Men's National Team January Camp has always been about giving new faces a look.

There's even more importance on that this year as the USMNT looks to identity talent and build a core over the next four years to avoid another World Cup failure.

USMNT interim manager Dave Sarachan has called in 10 players for the January camp that have not previously been involved in a national team camp.

SBI MLS Defender of the Year: Ike Opara

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For years, Ike Opara has been held back by injuries, limiting a player that has always shown plenty of promise and potential. In 2017, he showed everything he can do when healthy while firmly establishing himself as one of the premier defenders in MLS.

He proved the anchor of a stellar Sporting KC defense in 2017, leading the way for a back fourthat was essentially unanimously seen as the league's best.

Former U.S. U-23s stress doing whatever it takes to reach Olympics

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It does not matter how you get through. Just get through.

That is the message that some of the players from last cycle'sU.S. Under-23 Men's National Team have for the current crop of Olympic hopefuls.

The present-day U.S. U-23s are set for a do-or-die, two-legged series against Colombia in a couple weeks, the direct result of not doing well enough in CONCACAF's qualifying tournament.

Union bits, Ayuk and Le Toux on celebration, Academy’s McGann gets US U-15 call-up, US WWC roster announced today

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Union bits. Ayuk and Le Toux discuss gymnastics. Union Academy defender Rayshaun McGann called up by US U-15s for Italy tournament. US roster for Women's World Cup to be announced today. More.