Ike Opara captained the team and played the full 90 minutes in his U-23 debut at centerback during the USA’s 2-0 win against Mexico on Feb. 29, 2012. Before joining the San Jose Earthquakes as a 2010 first-round SuperDraft pick, Opara was named as a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy and represented the U.S. at the 2009 U-20 World Cup.
- Started each of the USA’s three matches at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup
- Selected third overall by the San Jose Earthquakes at the 2010 MLS SuperDraft and started 10 of his 11 appearances for the club, scoring three goals
- Only made eight appearances in 2011 because of an injury to his left foot that kept him out of the Earthquakes’ remaining 23 games.