Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
QUICK TAKE: Ike Opara
by Ridge Mahoney, April 20th, 2010 3:11AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, san jose earthquakes

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] Quakes rookie defender Ike Opara scored his second goal in as many games, heading home a Bobby Convey corner kick to clinch a 2-0 victory against New England Saturday. Paired in central defense with Jason Hernandez, he also helped shut down former college teammate Jack Schilawski, who had scored a hat trick against Toronto but was substituted in the San Jose game. Afterward, he rushed to catch an overnight flight back to Winston-Salem, N.C., where he is completing the academic year at Wake Forest. ...

SOCCER AMERICA:
So are you getting to like this jet-set existence: fly in, train for a day, score a goal, fly back? How are your teammates reacting?

IKE OPARA:
Jason Hernandez gave me crap after the game. He said, ‘I’ve been here all these years, and you fly in and get goals and leave.’ It’s been a whirlwind, and he’s helped me handle it like a pro. Getting used to it is very difficult, but I’m definitely happy I’m experiencing something like this.

SOCCER AMERICA: We’re told your workload is pretty heavy this week and you might not be able to play Saturday against Chivas USA. How is this affecting your studies?

OPARA:
I’ve done well so far; this has really been my first conflict coming up. My teachers have been very understanding and so has the team, so hopefully I can make it back in time next weekend.

SA: Your success at Wake (eight goals in 65 games, a national title in 2007) and with the U.S. under-20s (started every game at the 2009 world championships) is well documented, but you also played PDL (Premier Development League) for the Cary Railhawks. How much did that affect your development and how good was the competition?

OPARA: PDL, it depends who you’re playing. Some games were better than others. But it helped getting games in the middle of the summer, because it’s hard to find good games when I wasn’t active with the U-20s. To get those good PDL games in and move onto the U-20s was very important for me.

SA: Your former Wake teammate Jack Schilawski also played PDL with you. He got three in that D.C. game, but tonight you outscored him, 1-0.

OPARA:
We used to ride together. It was fun. He’s a good guy and a good player, but tonight we kept him off the board. Sometimes that’s how it happens.

SOCCER AMERICA: Coach Frank Yallop says one factor in your adaptation to the pro game is you played in a similar system at Wake. What are the common concepts of those systems?

OPARA:
We just try to find movement off the ball, try to play as a unit. Also, we try to get forward as quickly as possible. When it’s on, go. If not, keep it. We all clicked tonight and hopefully we can keep it going.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
D.C.'s Espindola shows off stuff, Timbers refuse to wilt    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Tuesday] D.C. United all but clinched a berth in the quarterfinals of the ...
What They're Saying: Johan Cruyff    
"No. Not much. We're both Dutch and that is always a [shared] basis. ... Van Gaal ...
Olympiakos does a lot of things right    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Tuesday] Making it back to the UEFA Champions League final after coming tantalizingly ...
Sounders rally to snatch trophy from Union    
[OPEN CUP: Final] The Philadelphia Union had the home-crowd advantage, and scored first with a goal ...
New York City FC faces another tough stadium sell    
[MLS EXPANSION] More than a year after efforts to secure a site for a soccer-specific stadium ...
What They're Saying: Don Garber    
"Bruce has the opportunity to be our Tom Landry, our Pat Riley, and he continually puts ...
Orlando City keeps just six USL PRO players    
[MLS EXPANSION] Deposed USL PRO champion Orlando City moved quickly to get about the task of ...
Where to Watch European Soccer    
The new European club season has started up. Here are places Soccer America readers recommend where ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25    
[COLLEGE RANKINGS] UCLA remained No. 1 in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 rankings for a ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25    
[COLLEGE RANKINGS] After a week during which five of the top 10 teams lost, North Carolina ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives