Not all of Major League Soccer’s stars were in action this weekend as international call-ups decimated squads across the league but a man who carried his side in Week 4 was Sporting Kansas City’s Ike Opara.
Opara got his second goal of the season in the 1-0 win away at New York City FC and put in another commanding display to help Sporting KC get their first win of the season.
Defensive partner Matt Besler created Opara’s goal from a long throw-in and the powerful centre-back rised above everyone to head in what proved to be the winner in the 13th minute.
Opara has stepped up to replace Aurelien Collin in the heart of the Sporting Kansas City defence and looks like one of the league’s best defenders at this early stage of the season.
He made more interceptions and blocks than any other player on the pitch in Sporting KC’s win at NYCFC on Saturday night, and also made 13 clearances – an amount matched by Besler.
Opara also won more headers than anyone else at Yankee Stadium and his aerial dominance looks likely to be a huge asset for Sporting KC throughout the season.
He is Sporting’s top goalscorer at this early stage of the campaign and will look to build on his commanding displays when the club face the Philadelphia Union next weekend.
Ike Opara’s goal against NYCFC (via MLS on YouTube):
How impressed were you with Ike Opara this weekend? Who was your Player of the Week?