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The Blue Links: April 4th, 2015

Everybody likes IKE, Chance Myers and Graham Zusi are cool in any decade, and SKC have cooled off on RVDV.

Possible alien, Ike Opara, dominates the young MLS season
Possible alien, Ike Opara, dominates the young MLS season
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

It is so great to see everything finally come together for Ike Opara. The rest of the country is taking notice and the accolades have been pouring in. But I'm just gonna go ahead and say what everyone is thinking... is he an alien?

He made MLS Team of the Week 3 out of the 4 weeks this season, and was nominated for Player of the Month (falling short to Octavio Rivero). However, SBI Soccer did name him Player of the Month.

Ike then appeared on the SBI Show to discuss his long road back from injury and the success he is now seeing.

EA Sports took notice:

FIFA bumped him up from a 68 to a 71 overall, but check out his physical stats! They maxed him out at 99 for jumping and he is a 92 for sprint speed.

The high flying defender also appeared on ExtraTime Radio with MLSSoccer.com. They discussed just how dangerous he can be on set pieces, his fantasy value (pick him up if you made the mistake of not taking him initially), and the possibility of Ike taking over for Sal Zizzo on the Benny Feilhaber Show.

And yes... he really has been THAT good. MLSSoccer.com asks Is Ike Opara the league's best CB?:

Those 2 goals lead all defenders, and the rest of the numbers are 1st or 2nd in all of MLS. He also leads the league in giving fans heart attacks, as he goes down in a heap at least once every game.

Sam McDowell on Ike's feel good story.

"Nearly 11 months removed from a serious ankle surgery — which he once called a "death sentence" to his career — Opara sat in front of his locker and wondered if he would ever be able to compete at an elite level again.

Later that evening, a quick burst through the middle of the New York Red Bulls’ defense — and the ensuing re-deflection off his head — supplied an emphatic answer."

The Heat stays on Qatar despite winter World Cup. I've not given up hope on taking it away from Qatar and it looks like they still have several battles to face. Sepp Blatter himself recently visited, saw the migrant worker situation, and said, "more must be done". Questions of stability in neighboring regions, cultural decisions like the lack of alcohol, and even just the ability to complete construction in time, are all problems facing Qatar 2022.

After a rough patch, Tim Howard is still doing superhero stuff. Save of the year:

Sporting KC have 5 points through 4 games and stand at 7th in the Western Conference. With a 1-1-2 record, they have not received much love in the power rankings. SBI has them at 10th, MLSSoccer.com put them at 7th, and the worst is ESPNFC, who think SKC are the 12th best team in MLS.

Sam McDowell gave an update on the RVDV situation yesterday:

Any guesses/wishes on this South American attacking player?

Red Card Roger is no more! Steve Brisendine takes a look at how much Espinoza has grown as a player.

"I do see the game differently. Maybe I don't run as much as I used to when I was younger. I mean, I still have it in me to run, but I don't run all over the place where my team doesn't need me to. I try to make smarter runs, communicate with my teammates better." - Roger Espinoza

Ladies and gentlemen... Graham Zusi:


No matter what I do... I could never be as cool as them:

@gzusi and Chance Myers are channeling their inner hippie at the @kcreptheatre rendition of HAIR. #fringe

A photo posted by Sporting Kansas City (@sportingkc) on

Philadelphia comes to town tomorrow at 6p. CJ Sapong hoping for medical clearance to face old club. Nemeth will be back in the 18. Who would you like to see start? De Jong or Sinovic at LB?

Follow us on Instagram/BlueTestamentKC and we'll bring you tailgating, looks from the Cauldron, and post-game interviews!