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San Jose Earthquakes trade Ike Opara to Sporting KC

Sporting KC gave up its second-round draft pick to acquire the defender Ike Opara.

Thearon W. Henderson

Sporting KC continues to shore up its back line, trading for defender Ike Opara and sending its second-round pick in this year's SuperDraft to the San Jose Earthquakes. The 23-year-old defender has made 36 appearances in the MLS over the last three seasons, including a 2011 season cut short by a fracture in his left foot.

"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 release. "He possesses all of the qualities and characteristics of becoming a top-level central defender in MLS."

Opara has spent time with the United States youth national teams. He started in all three games for the United States at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in addition to playing on the current iteration of the United States' U-23 team.

Opara is a Durham, N.C., native and played his college soccer for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.