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Sporting Kansas City acquires Ike Opara from Earthquakes

The 23-year-old carries plenty of potential, but hasn't been healthy or effective enough to get on the field much during his MLS career.

Sporting Kansas City has acquired defender Ike Opara from the San Jose Earthquakes, in exchange for Sporting KC's natural second round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.

San Jose selected Opara third overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, but injuries and ineffectiveness have blighted his time in MLS. The 23-year-old has made just 36 MLS appearances in his three seasons in the league. Still, Sporting KC is intrigued by his potential.

"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 head coach Peter Vermes said.

"He possesses all of the qualities and characteristics of becoming a top-level central defender in MLS. We are excited about all of his potential and look forward to working with him in the preseason."

Opara has represented the U.S. at various youth levels, and was a part of the U-23 side that crashed out of Olympic qualifying this spring.

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