Desperately needing three points in a place it hadn't won for 16 years, Sporting Kansas City received a pair of standout performances from goalkeeper Tim Melia and defender Kevin Ellis on Saturday night.
Facing the San Jose Earthquakes in a pivotal Western Conference clash at Avaya Stadium, Melia produced three superb saves and Ellis scored arguably the most important goal of Sporting Kansas City's season in the 81st minute. The end result was a 2-1 victory that snapped an 18-game winless run in San Jose and vaulted Peter Vermes' men to fifth place in the West.
Melia and Ellis were rewarded for their heroics on Monday, landing spots on the Bleacher Report Team of the Week as Sporting Kansas City won its first MLS road game since April 9 at the New York Red Bulls. Melia was also included on the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week, his first such honor since starring in the win over New York. Ellis, meanwhile, received the weekly honor from ESPNFC.
Melia was called upon just 15 seconds into the match punching away a dangerous cross before parrying Chris Wondolowski's rebound effort wide of goal. He denied San Jose's leading scorer again immediately after the restart, sprawling right to tip Wondolowski's close-range effort beyond the far post. Melia's final save on the hour mark was equally impressive, as he dove to smother Alberto Quintero's low blast through traffic.
On the night he started his 50th regular season match, Ellis latched onto Benny Feilhaber's corner kick with a nifty back-heel for his first MLS goal of the 2016 campaign. In addition to netting the late game-winner, the homegrown defender finished with five clearances, a game-high four interceptions and four duels won.