HOW ACQUIRED: From San Jose Earthquakes before the start of the 2013 season. Signed a new contract with Sporting KC ahead of the 2017 season.
A product of Wake Forest University, Opara was drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft as a Generation adidas signing. After three seasons as a spot starter for the Quakes -- San Jose drafted him No. 3 overall in the 2010 SuperDraft -- Sporting KC traded for the center back in December 2012.
Injuries, including severe ones in early 2014 (right ankle chondral defect injury) and 2015 (ruptured Achilles tendon), have prevented him from logging more than 16 starts for Sporting KC in any of his previous seasons. But if Opara can remain healthy for the whole season, he is a player many tab as one of the elite center backs in the league and a potential USMNT candidate.
INTERNATIONAL: Started all three matches at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Invited to camp with the US Olympic squad (U-23) in February 2012.
COLLEGE: Played three seasons at Wake Forest before declaring for the 2010 SuperDraft. Two-time ACC defensive player of the year. Two-time All-American, and MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist in 2008.