Former Deac Ike Opara Listed as Sports Illustrated Top Player to Watch
March 7, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Ike Opara, a former Wake Forest men's soccer standout, was named the top, "breakout player to watch," in Major League Soccer this season by SportsIllustrated.com's Sam Stejskal on Tuesday, March 6.
The MLS regular season will kick off on Saturday, March 10 with a host of matches, including Opara's San Jose Earthquakes at home versus the New England Revolution. First kick is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET.
An athletic and imposing defender, Opara was a member of the Deacs' 2007 NCAA Championship team and played in 65 career matches for Wake Forest, scoring nine goals. He was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons (2008 and 2009) and was drafted in the first round (3rd overall) by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2010 MLS Draft.
Opara also spent parts of February with the U.S. U-23 National Team. In two starts, he scored a goal for the U.S. side in a 2-1 victory on February 22 against FC Dallas and served as team captain in a 2-0 shutout win against Mexico's U-23's on Feb. 29.