MNUFC defender Ike Opara to miss ‘MLS is Back’ tournament

Minnesota United FC defender Ike Opara did not travel with the team to Orlando, Fla., and will not participate in the “MLS is Back” tournament, he announced Thursday.

“I want to let the fans know that I am currently not in Orlando with my teammates,” Opara posted on Twitter. “I am continuing my physical rehabilitation on a preexisting condition that was agreed upon between the league and MNUFC.”

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The Loons will greatly miss Opara, the MLS Defender of the Year recipient in 2017 and 2019.

Opara was traded to the Loons before the 2019 campaign. He was a key piece in Minnesota United’s defensive unit that allowed just 43 goals last season after yielding 70+ goals over its first two seasons in MLS.

Opara tallied 22 shots (five shots on goal), three goals and one assist in 30 games for the Loons last season.

“I’m sad I’m not there with my guys but will be the biggest fan from home in MN,” Opara wrote.

Minnesota United will play its first game of the “MLS is Back” tournament group stage against Sporting Kansas City on July 12.