Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia turned more than a few heads in 2015. The longtime backup earned MLS Comeback Player of the Year honors after an excellent year between the posts, making 82 saves in the process. But one accolade that somehow eluded him last season was an MLS Save of the Week award.
Melia wasted little time checking that off his list in 2016, winning Week 3’s MLS Save of the Week for his spectacular stop in the 62nd minute of Sunday's 1-0 win over Toronto FC at Children’s Mercy Park.
With the match tied 0-0, Tsubasa Endoh raced onto the end of a Sebastian Giovinco through ball and had only Melia to beat. The rookie put his strike on target, but Melia sprung to his left and touched the ball onto the underside of the crossbar. The reflex save preserved Sporting Kansas City’s clean sheet and ultimately ensured that the club would go its third straight game without conceding a goal through the run of play.
Entering this week’s FIFA international window, Sporting Kansas City is the lone MLS team with a perfect record and has started 3-0-0 for the third time in club history — thanks in part to Melia’s performances in goal. The 29-year-old made two brilliant stops in a season-opening win at Seattle Sounders FC, added three saves against Vancouver Whitecaps FC and was called to action four times vs. Toronto. Sporting KC leads MLS with just one goal allowed through Week 3 — a penalty kick against Vancouver.
Melia is now 18-8-5 with a 1.08 goals against average in all competitions since becoming Sporting Kansas City’s starting goalkeeper in May 2015.