Opara scores in 2-1 US U-23 win vs. FCD
DALLAS - Ike Opara scored in a 2-1 win for the U.S. U-23s against FC Dallas on Wednesday at FC Dallas Stadium.
Opara is in camp with the U.S. through a Feb. 29 friendly against the Mexican U-23s in Dallas. Head coach Caleb Porter is working to finalize a roster ahead of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in March.
The Hoops struck first with Andrew Jacobson beating his defender before finishing in the 15th minute to give FC Dallas a 1-0 advantage. However, Opara would equalize soon after, heading home a corner kick from Freddy Adu in the 19th minute.
FC Dallas got a boost in the 36th minute when FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman brought on 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira for the first time since he suffered a season-ending injury on April 23, 2011. Unfortunately for Dallas, the substitution came after Shea, playing for the U.S. U-23s, earned his team a penalty kick after coming together with goalkeeper Kevin Hartman at the top of the box.
Adu opted to take the kick, firing a waist-high blast to the right side, but Hartman guessed correctly and parried the shot away only to have Adu fire another shot from three yards out. Quick to recover, Hartman made yet another outstanding save before the ball was ushered away from danger by defender Zach Loyd.
The U.S. U-23s came out strong following the half and got a goal in the 51st minute from Shea. Playing on the left flank, Shea timed his run well and beat the FC Dallas defense to a ball played over the top by Adu. In alone against Hartman, Shea cracked a hard shot high to the back post from 12-yards out to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.
The U.S. went down a man in the 58th minute when Kofi Sarkodie was whistled for his second caution after bringing down Fabian Castillo at the top of the box. The breakout was started by Ferriera, who collected the ball in the center of the pitch before lobbing a perfectly-weighted pass into space for Castillo. The U-23s lost yet another man in the 75th minute when Shea was shown his second yellow after coming together with FC Dallas trialist Daniel Osorno.
But FC Dallas was unable to break down an organized U.S. back line. The closest the home team came to a tying goal were a pair of free kicks from the top of the area in the 83rd and 85th minutes. Bobby Warshaw took the first. He hammered a rising shot on goal, but Sean Johnson read it well and tipped the ball over the crossbar. Perez took the second. He hit a bending shot which just shaved the outside of the right post.
DAL – Andrew Jacobson (Fabian Castillo) 15
USA – Ike Opara (Freddy Adu) 19
USA – Brek Shea (Adu) 51
USA – Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 23
USA – Brek Shea (caution) 27
USA – Jared Jeffery (caution) 38
USA – Sarkodie (caution) 58
USA – Sarkodie (ejection; second caution) 58
DAL – Andrew Jacobson (caution) 64
USA – Shea (caution) 75
USA – Shea (ejection; second caution) 75
DAL – Blas Perez (caution) 78
FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman (Chris Seitz 69), Jair Benitez (Jonathan Top 75), Ugo Ihemelu (Matt Hedges 72), Hernan Pertuz (Christian Ibeagha 72), Zach Loyd (Castillo 81), Carlos Rodriguez, Daniel Hernandez (Bobby Warshaw 64), Andrew Jacobson (Alex Lee 64), Andrew Wiedeman (David Ferreira 36, Daniel Osorno 58), Blas Perez, Fabian Castillo (Dogba 58).
U.S. Under 23s – Bill Hamid (Sean Johnson 45), Ike Opara (Greg Garza 45), Kofi Sarkodie, Zarek Valentin, Jorge Villafana (Perry Kitchen 45), Amobi Okugo, Juan Agudelo (Michael Stephens 45), Jared Jeffery (Dilly Duka 45), Brek Shea, Freddy Adu (Bunbury 67), Teal Bunbury (Tony Taylor 45, Villafana 76).