Beyond The Box Score: Tim Melia makes history as Sporting KC tames Lions

He wasn’t tested often, but when he was, Tim Melia came up big.

The Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper made three saves on Saturday night, including two massive stops against his former teammate Dom Dwyer, to collect his MLS-leading 12th shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory over Orlando City SC at Children’s Mercy Park.

The result was effectively secured in the 53rd minute when Felipe Gutierrez rifled home from the top of the box, sealing Sporting KC’s return to winning ways and lifting the club into second place in the Western Conference—two points ahead of Los Angeles Football Club and a point behind leaders FC Dallas—with seven games left on the 2018 slate.

Melia thwarted Dwyer in a pair of one-on-one situations, thwarting a side-footed effort in the fifth minute and smothering a low drive on the hour mark to highlight another steady performance between the posts. In doing so, the 32-year-old gloveman collected his 38th regular season shutout for Sporting KC since joining the side in 2015. That moves him into sole possession of second-most in club history, edging ahead of Sporting Legend Tony Meola’s 37.

Sporting KC's latest shutout effort also carried league-wide significance, as they became the first club to reach 200 regular-season shutouts all-time.

SPORTING KC: MOST SHUTOUTS IN CLUB HISTORY
(MLS REGULAR SEASON)

# Player Shutouts Games Years in KC
1 Jimmy Nielsen 45 128 2010-2013
2 Tim Melia 38 108 2015-present
3 Tony Meola 37 125 1999-2004
4 Kevin Hartman 22 90 2007-2009
5 Bo Oshoniyi 22 96 2000-2006
6 Mike Ammann 10 60 1996-1998
7 Eric Kronberg 8 25 2006-2014
8 Four players tied      

ALL-TIME SHUTOUTS (MLS REGULAR SEASON)

Club Shutouts Years in MLS
Sporting KC 200 1996-present
LA Galaxy 192 1996-present
Colorado Rapids
D.C. United
181
181
1996-present
1996-present
Columbus Crew SC 180 1996-present
FC Dallas 176 1996-present
New York Red Bulls 175 1996-present
New England Revolution 165 1996-present
Chicago Fire 160 1998-present
San Jose Earthquakes 159 1996-2005; 2008-present
Real Salt Lake 128 2005-present
Houston Dynamo 109 2006-present
Seattle Sounders FC 100 2009-present
Chivas USA 80 2005-2014
Toronto FC 79 2007-present
Philadelphia Union 72 2010-present
Portland Timbers 70 2011-present
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 66 2011-present
Montreal Impact 51 2012-present
New York City FC 28 2015-present
Tampa Bay Mutiny 24 1996-2001
Orlando City SC 20 2015-present
Atlanta United FC 18 2017-present
Miami Fusion 17 1998-2001
Los Angeles Football Club 8 2018-present
Minnesota United FC 7 2017-present

Melia and the Sporting KC defense have now combined for shutout victories in five of the last six MLS matches dating back to Aug. 4. As a result, Manager Peter Vermes’ men remain squarely in contention for a top-two finish in the West as well as the Knockout Round bye—and home playoff game—that goes with it.

Similarly, Sporting KC has now claimed three straight shutout home victories in MLS competition, counting the 3-0 win over Portland on Aug. 18 and the 2-0 triumph over Minnesota on Aug. 25. Throw in Saturday’s ousting of Orlando, and the club has earned three consecutive clean sheet home wins in MLS play for the seventh time in team history—and the fourth time since the Vermes era began in 2009.

SHUTOUT WINNING STREAKS OF THREE OR MORE AT HOME
(SPORTING KC IN MLS REGULAR SEASON)

Matches Opponents Date
3 Tampa Bay Mutinty
New England Revolution
FC Dallas
06/06/1998
07/01/1998
07/11/1998
6 Colorado Rapids
San Jose Earthquakes
Tampa Bay Mutiny
New York Red Bulls
D.C. United
San Jose Earthquakes
04/01/2000
04/15/2000
04/22/2000
05/13/2000
05/17/2000
05/20/2000
4 New York Red Bulls
San Jose Earthquakes
Colorado Rapids
LA Galaxy
09/04/2004
09/18/2004
09/25/2004
10/16/2004
3 FC Dallas
Seattle Sounders FC
Colorado Rapids
05/29/2015
06/06/2015
06/27/2015
3 Seattle Sounders FC
Portland Timbers
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
07/24/2016
07/31/2016
08/20/2016
4 Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls
Seattle Sounders FC
Minnesota United FC
04/29/2017
05/03/2017
05/17/2017
06/03/2017
3 Portland Timbers
Minnesota United FC
Orlando City SC
08/18/2018
08/25/2018
09/08/2018

With three massive points under their belts, Sporting KC (14-7-6, 48 points) will continue their playoff push Saturday when they visit Western Conference cellar dwellers San Jose Earthquakes (4-15-8, 20 points) at Avaya Stadium. Kickoff is set for 9:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO.

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