Sporting KC, Columbus Crew SC announce Opara, Jimenez, Stuver re-signed

Ike Opara - Sporting KC

News of Benny Feilhaber re-signing with Sporting Kansas City may be the big story on Wednesday, but he was not the only player who signed a new deal.

Sporting KC also announced a new contract with defender Ike Opara, to run through the 2017 season with club options for 2018 and 2019.

Opara, 27, just completed his fourth season with Sporting. He notched MLS career highs in appearances in 2016, and netted the first three assists of his career this season.

"We are very happy to be able to re-sign Ike to our club," Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a statement. "We think he is a first-class individual and he has so much upside as a central defender. He showed a lot of consistency this past year and we hope that continues for years to come."

"Kansas City has been my home for the past four years and I'm excited to return for another season," Opara said. "I'm extremely thankful for all of the support the fans have showed me, and I'm eager to play in front of them alongside my great teammates."

In addition, Columbus Crew SC announced two players re-signed on Wednesday, midfielder/defender Hector Jimenez and goalkeeper Brad Stuver. Details of the deals were not disclosed.

Both Jimenez and Stuver have been with Crew SC the past three seasons. Jimenez, 28, made 25 league appearances in multiple positions in 2016, while Stuver, 25, started the final two games of the season for Columbus with incumbent starter Steve Clark injured.

“We are pleased to re-sign both Hector and Brad ahead of the 2017 campaign,” said sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter in a team statement. “Hector’s versatility has allowed him to provide valuable contributions at a number of positions on the field while Brad has continued to put himself in prime position to step-up when his number has been called. Both players have been a strong fit for this club on and off the field, serving as great teammates and making an impact in both the locker room and in the community. We look forward to working with them leading into next year.”