Sporting KC's Tim Melia named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

Sporting KC's Tim Melia named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
Posted at 5:41 AM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 06:41:18-05

NEW YORK (AP) — Sporting Kansas City's Tim Melia has been named Major League Soccer's Goalkeeper of the Year.

Melia is the third Sporting goalkeeper to earn the honor, joining Tony Meola (2002) and Jimmy Nielsen (2012). No other MLS team has had three goalkeepers win the honor.

"Winning an award like this is one of the best compliments you can get as a goalkeeper," Melia said in a statement. "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."

Melia, who is in his third season with Kansas City, had a career-high 12 wins, 10 shutouts, 91 saves and 31 starts. He led MLS with a 0.78 goals-against average and a 78.4 save percentage. He saved three penalty kicks.

Melia was also the league's Comeback Player of the Year in 2015.

Melia earned just more than half of all the votes for the award (50.29 percent). Philadelphia's Andre Blake (10.13 percent) was runner-up and Seattle's Stefan Frei (8.24 percent) was third.

Sporting Kansas City had the top defense in the league with just 29 goals allowed this season.

"Over the course of the season, Tim was extremely consistent and came up with some really big saves," Sporting coach 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."

Melia, 31, did not appear in any league matches while with Real Salt Lake from 2010-11 then played in six matches with Chivas USA from 2012 until he was waived in 2014.

Originally signed by Kansas City as backup to Luis Marin, Melia started the team's ninth league match of 2015 and won the starting nod with shutouts in six of his first nine starts.