A real keeper: Tim Melia becomes Sporting's all-time shutout leader

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia had just one save to make on Saturday night, but it was an awfully impressive one that ultimately prompted a rewriting of the club history books.

Melia's fingertip stop to deny Memo Rodriguez in an emphatic 4-0 defeat of rivals Houston Dynamo was among the many flashbulb moments that brought a sold-out crowd to its feet at electric Children's Mercy Park. It also allowed Sporting's veteran goalkeeper to collect his 46th career shutout in the MLS regular season, vaulting him into sole possession of first place on Kansas City's all-time charts.

Goal-scoring Children's Mercy Park debutants Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda may have stolen the show and demanded the headlines in a game full of on-field fireworks, but Melia's contribution to the cause carried undeniable weight, as well.

The 33-year-old had entered 2020 tied with Sporting Legend Jimmy Nielsen for most shutouts in club regular season history. Saturday's smackdown was the difference maker, not to mention a reminder of Melia's impressive consistency between the sticks since becoming the No. 1 keeper in Kansas City in 2015.

SPORTING KC: TOP FIVE SHUTOUT LEADERS
(MLS REGULAR SEASON ALL-TIME)

# Player Shutouts Games Played Seasons
1 Tim Melia 46 149 2015-present
2 Jimmy Nielsen 45 128 2010-2013
3 Tony Meola 37 125 1999-2004
4 Kevin Hartman
Bo Oshoniyi
22
22
90
96
2007-2009
2000-2006

"It’s special, but it’s down to all of the people on the field and everyone in this organization," Melia said Saturday night when asked to reflect on his accomplishment. "They gave me this opportunity to succeed. It’s not me. It’s something that goalkeepers hold but look at the game tonight. I didn’t do anything and I was able to break the record. I’m just happy to be here and happy to be part of this club. It’s special to me."

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