Minnesota United defender Ike Opara participated in part of training Monday, and coach Adrian Heath said he is hopeful he will play Wednesday in the Loons' home game against the LA Galaxy.
Opara missed a 4-3 loss to Toronto FC on Friday after he banged heads with a New York City FC player the week before and needed seven stitches to close a gash over his eye. Opara felt better during the team's training at the National Sports Center, Heath said.
His return would help the Loons' depleted roster; midfielder Jan Gregus and defender Francisco Calvo will miss the game Wednesday because of red cards issued late in Friday's match.
• Loons rookie defender Chase Gasper also practiced Monday after he was sidelined with a hamstring injury. He is expected to be ready to return to game action by week's end. "We might have lost a couple, but we might get two or three back," Heath said.
• Veteran midfielder Miguel Ibarra missed the past two games because of a hamstring injury, but he practiced Monday and is aimed toward a return Wednesday.
• United midfielder Collin Martin has been loaned to the Hartford Athletic of the United Soccer League, Heath said. Martin played in 12 games last season and started five but hasn't played this season on a team that remade its roster during the offseason.
AHL's Wild looking to up its advantage
The Iowa Wild, the AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild, can take a 2-0 playoff series lead over the Milwaukee Admirals with a victory on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The Wild, in its sixth season of existence in Iowa, won the first playoff game in team history on Sunday, 7-0. Kyle Rau scored two goals.
Milwaukee has lost 12 consecutive playoff games and 16 of its past 17.
After Tuesday, Milwaukee will be home for the remainder of the best-of-five first-round series.
Gophers' Fiser cited
The Gophers' Amber Fiser was chosen Big Ten Pitcher of the Week in softball for the fourth time this season, the league announced.
Fiser recorded complete-game victories in the first and final games of the series with Nebraska, with 23 strikeouts while allowing only two earned runs and 12 hits. Fiser's Friday shutout featured 13 strikeouts, tying her career high, and Sunday's victory over the Cornhuskers was her 20th.