MLS- San Jose Earthquakes

Opara and Schilawski ready for battle

IkeOpara (ISIphotos.com) Zach Schilawski (ISIphotos.com) 

Photos byISIphotos.com

This weekend's slate of MLS action features a plethora of great match-ups, but one of the most intriguing to watch will be rookies and former college teammates Ike Opara and Zack Schilawski.

The two first-round picks and former Wake Forest standouts are coming off unforgettable weeks and must now battle each other when Opara's San Jose Earthquakes play host to Schilawski's Revolution.

I wrote a feature on Opara and Schilawski for Fox Soccer and it provides some insight into their games, their friendly rivalry, Opara's unusual commute to and from work as well as Schilawski's explanation for his draft day mix-up.

Give the story a read and feel free to share your thoughts on it in the comments section below.

  • Sam

    Great article, nice to see that sort of respect between two players. It should be a great matchup, but I’ll pick my Revs and my boy Schilawski to get another hattrick.


  • Clayton

    Still waiting for Corben Bone to see the field for Chicago. WF is the best factory for US pros around. Continued success for Ike and Zach.


  • Charles

    So many people want the “academy” model in the US, but it has been proven in baseball that going after college players that succeed is a way better indicator of someone that makes it at the top level than guessing on a high school senior….or earlier.

    Very exciting times in MLS right now.


  • madmax

    Ives, looking back you had Schilawski 16 and up in your mock drafts, with 4/5 strikers ahead of him. That was your prediction based on MLS coaches and not your own valuation, correct. Where did you rate him, then and now.

    Not only does Nichol pick them but he plays them, he’d be a great Las Vegas side kick.

    (SBI-Schilawski impressed coaches at the combine with his movement, motor and timing. Guys like Akpan and Wiedeman saw their stock drop at the combine so Schilawski was probably the third-rated striker after Mwanga and Bunbury heading into the draft. I know for a fact the Chicago Fire were going to take him if he slipped to their pick.)


  • Mikey

    Opara is garbage. He’s the most overrated player to come out of college recently


  • BrooklynFC

    Mikey that is Outrageous…..Opara is easily the second best defender in the draft behind Ream….. Opara and Ream will probably be starting for us in 2018


  • BrooklynFC

    On that note I really wish the redbulls would have drafted Opara…… Him and Ream would of been killing it and developing Chemistry…. they would have become the new age Oneywu and Boca


  • wk

    thanks for that, resident SBI expert. you sound like a troll who’s butt hurt after he stole your bicycle. he’s a former U-20 player, a day one starter in this league, and a likely rookie of the year candidate. make an argument or shut up.


  • Mikey

    Are you serious? He was absolutely awful in the U-20 World Cup. Against Germany, he got burned by his man twice – we lost 3-0. Against Cameroon, he gave up a clumsy penalty and got burnt by his man – luckily we won that game. Against South Korea (college students), he gave up TWO penalties and got sent off – we lost 3-0.

    In the College Cup semifinal against Virginia, he didn’t mark his man which let to Virginia’s first goal. He got completely burned in a footrace on Virginia’s second goal.

    Now you tell me, is that good? Do you enjoy having low expectations of US players?


  • Mikey Sucks

    Mikey, I was at that Virginia game at the College Cup. He didn’t get burned in any footrace. Brian Ownby was actually supposed to be covered by Opara’s partner centerback, freshman Arena. Opara actually made terrific ground to come back and almost thwart the play.

    Your argument is really dumb. Opara has awlways been a little clumsy, but he’s a smart player with world class athleticism. He was absolutely dominant on the college level.


  • frank from sf

    yo mikey, just got back from the ‘quakes match and opara IS the real deal. kid is growing fast in every game so far.(i know 3gms.) didn’t lose one header ALL game and was stepping up w/ a lot of confidence.give him a bit of time.


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