For the second time in three seasons, Nigerian born Minnesota United’s Ike Opara has been named the Major League Soccer’s Defender of the Year. The first award came in 2017 while he was a member of Sporting Kansas City.
Opara was eligible to pray for Nigeria but opted to play for the United States and has 7 caps.
For the 2019 award he beat out LAFC’s Walker Simmerman and Eddie Segura, Atlanta United’s Miles Robinson, NYC FC’s Maxime Chanot, and New York Red Bulls’ Aaron Long.
Opara has been instrumental in the improvement of Minnesota’s defense from the pain that was the 2017 and 18 seasons to how they are in 2019. In 2017 MNUFC gave up 70 goals then giving up 71 in 2018 while they only gave up 43 in 2019 a drastic improvement over the past two seasons. Opara with his 29 starts and 30 appearances in 34 matches has been instrumental in the improvement of Minnesota’s defense from those two seasons