Sporting Kansas City cruised to one of its most dominant wins ever on Saturday, pummeling Vancouver Whitecaps FC 6-0 behind a Johnny Russell hat-trick, a Jimmy Medranda wonderstrike and second-half tallies from first-time MLS scorers Cristian Lobato and Yohan Croizet.
Yet Tim Melia just might have made the most important play of the game. The Sporting KC goalkeeper produced a jaw-dropping save to deny Vancouver's Yordy Reyna in the seventh minute, when the teams were still deadlocked at 0-0. Had Reyna beaten Melia and given the Whitecaps an early lead, Friday's match may have unfolded in an entirely different manner.
It didn't, of course, and now Sporting KC has a five-point lead atop the Western Conference standings. And while a deluge of goals delighted the Children's Mercy Park faithful, we would be remiss to forget Melia's pivotal save in the early stages of the historic win.