Sporting KC star Ike Opara suffers grade 3 concussion in wild U.S. Open Cup win

Wednesday July 12th, 2017

Sporting Kansas City's Ike Opara has been released from the hospital after suffering the most severe kind of concussion, grade 3, the club announced on Wednesday.

The injury occurred in a wild U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal win, with Sporting KC outlasting defending champion FC Dallas 3-0 in extra time, in a game that ended 10-v-9. Opara suffered the injury after absorbing a vicious kick to the head by the bicycle-kick-attempting Maxi Urruti in the 100th minute of a scoreless match, and he was stretchered off the field. Urruti was sent off after the incident.

A pair of goals from Latif Blessing and another from Daniel Salloi in extra time secured the victory for Sporting KC, which is seeking its fourth Open Cup title and a third in the last six years. 

Opara, whose career has been plagued by injuries, has been a star for Sporting KC this season in MLS. He has started 18 of the Western Conference-leading club's 20 league matches and been a rock defensively, while contributing a pair of highlight-reel goals–one on a long-range blast, the other on a bicycle kick.

Opara "will underdog concussion protocols in the coming days," according to Sporting KC, with a timetable for his return not yet set. 

Sporting KC and the San Jose Earthquakes have punched their semifinal tickets in the Open Cup. The two remaining places will go to the winner of the USL-NASL battle between FC Cincinnati and Miami FC and the winner of the all-MLS duel between the New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls.

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