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Nigerian defender Lucky Opara joins Hailstorm

By Staff, 02/02/23, 5:15PM EST


Opara has earned top-flight experience in Latvia, Finland and Switzerland

Opara has earned top-flight experience in Latvia, Finland and Switzerland | Image Credit: FC Lugano

WINDSOR, Colo. – Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC today announced the club has signed fullback Lucky Onyebuchi Opara, pending league and federation approval.

“Lucky is one that I’m super excited about,” Northern Colorado Head Coach Éamon Zayed said. “He’s young, and he’s spent the last four years in top divisions in Europe.”

For most of that timeframe, the 23-year-old took on Latvia’s top competition. Through 47 matches with FK Spartaks Jūrmala in the top-flight Latvian Higher League, he fired off five goals and tallied 10 assists. 

Those flashes of brilliance bought him half a season on loan with FC Lugano of the Swiss Super League. Opara scored a goal in his final match in Lugano. His loan ended on the last day of June 2021. Two weeks later, though, another one started. The Nigerian found himself out on loan again, this time in Finland. 

Over the next six months, he spent time in Finland's top-flight Veikkausliiga with AC Oulu. Playing primarily left wing-back, Opara put up five goals, including one in each of his first two games. In his final Finnish match, he netted an equalizer just before halftime and helped ACO avoid relegation.

“I have always wanted to play in the United States,” Opara said. “I look forward to bringing my experience from Europe to help the team win the championship.”

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