Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia has been voted the 2017 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Major League Soccer announced on Thursday.
“Winning an award like this is one of the best compliments you can get as a goalkeeper,” Melia said. “It’s a huge individual accolade, and it’s one that is only possible because of the efforts of my teammates and my coaches. To gain this recognition is an incredible honor.”
“Over the course of the season, Tim was extremely consistent and came up with some really big saves,” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. “There is no doubt that his excellent play was one of the reasons we won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and reached the MLS Cup Playoffs for a seventh straight year.
“Tim had a major role in our success as a team, and we are happy he got rewarded. I also give a lot of credit to our goalkeeper coach Alec Dufty, who has done a great job helping our goalkeepers improve.”
In a phenomenal third season with Sporting KC, Melia posted MLS career-highs in wins (12), shutouts (10), saves (91), starts (31) and minutes (2,759). Among goalkeepers with at least 15 regular-season appearances in 2017, he led MLS with a 0.78 goals against average, 78.4 save percentage and 69.2-percent passing accuracy. The eighth-year professional also ranked second in shutouts.
Melia helped lead the best defense in Major League Soccer, as Sporting KC’s 29 goals allowed during the regular season were eight fewer than any other team. The 31-year-old saved three penalty kicks, one shy of the single-season league record, and his stunning finger-tip stop to deny Darlington Nagbe in a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers on April 15 was nominated for MLS Save of the Year.
Melia was equally superb in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, where he started all five matches and posted three shutouts en route to his second career Open Cup title. He made two saves in a penalty shootout victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in the tournament semifinals on Aug. 9, paving the way for Sporting KC’s championship win against the New York Red Bulls on Sept. 20. Melia finished the year with a 16-7-12 record as a starter in all competitions, recording a 0.72 goals against average and 13 clean sheets.
A native of Great River, New York, Melia becomes Sporting KC’s third MLS Goalkeeper of the Year recipient. He joins the ranks of Sporting Legend Tony Meola (2000) and former captain Jimmy Nielsen (2012), making Sporting KC the first club to have three different MLS Goalkeeper of the Year winners.
Melia garnered more than half of the votes for Goalkeeper of the Year, which consisted of ballots from active players, club technical staffs and media members who covered the league in 2017.
|Tim Melia (SKC)||46.12%||48.81%||55.95%||50.29%|
|Andre Blake (PHI)||15.51%||7.14%||7.74%||10.13%|
|Stefan Frei (SEA)||4.49%||7.14%||13.10%||8.24%|
|Alex Bono (TOR)||2.86%||5.95%||4.17%||4.33%|
|Sean Johnson (NYC)||2.86%||4.76%||5.36%||4.33%|
|Brad Guzan (ATL)||3.67%||2.38%||1.79%||2.61%|
Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year Winners:
2017: Tim Melia – Sporting Kansas City
2016: Andre Blake – Philadelphia Union
2015: Luis Robles – New York Red Bulls
2014: Bill Hamid – D.C. United
2013: Donovan Ricketts – Portland Timbers
2012: Jimmy Nielsen – Sporting Kansas City
2011: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC
2010: Donovan Ricketts – LA Galaxy
2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
2008: Jon Busch – Chicago Fire
2007: Brad Guzan – Chivas USA
2006: Troy Perkins – D.C. United
2005: Pat Onstad – San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Joe Cannon – Colorado Rapids
2003: Pat Onstad – San Jose Earthquakes
2002: Joe Cannon – San Jose Earthquakes
2001: Tim Howard – MetroStars
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Kevin Hartman – Los Angeles Galaxy
1998: Zach Thornton – Chicago Fire
1997: Brad Friedel – Columbus Crew
1996: Mark Dodd – Dallas Burn