Lynn Soccer Alum Tim Melia Voted MLS Player of the Week
Lynn University men’s soccer alumnus and Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia was voted MLS Player of the Week for Week 31 of the 2015 season, Major League Soccer announced on Tuesday. Melia recorded the only MLS shutout in Week 31, his eighth of the season, in a 1-0 road win at the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
Melia kept his second clean sheet in a month’s time at Providence Park, becoming the first goalkeeper to hold the Timbers scoreless at home twice in one season in the club’s five-year history. In doing so, he extended Portland’s scoreless streak against Sporting KC to 392 minutes dating back to 2013.
The defensive performance came with two rookie SuperDraft picks at outside back (Amadou Dia and Saad Abdul-Salaam) along with three Kansas City natives (Matt Besler, Kevin Ellis and Erik Palmer-Brown) on the backline in front of Melia. Krisztian Nemeth came off the bench to score a stunning 83rd-minute game-winner and Sporting KC snapped the Timbers 14-game home unbeaten streak against Western Conference opponents.
A two-year starter from 2006-07, Melia garnered Sunshine State Conference Defensive Player of the Year accolades in his final season when he went 14-2-1 overall with eight shutouts, a 0.80 goals-against average and helped lead the Fighting Knights to a NCAA South Region Finals appearance. Over his career, he tallied 28 victories, 18 shutouts and a 0.65 GAA along with a .794 save percentage.
Melia, in his first season as an MLS starter, logged six saves in the victory and is the first KC goalkeeper since Kevin Hartman in 2008 to make six saves in four different matches during a regular season campaign. In addition, he was credited with three punches on Saturday and leads all MLS goalkeepers with 31 punches this year.
Melia is 14-6-5 as a starter for Sporting KC this season with a 1.14 goals against average across all competitions. He started all five matches in the club’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship run, making seven saves in last week’s final in addition to two stops in the penalty shootout.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from North American Soccer Reporters. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.