Melia extends contract with Sporting KC

Tim Melia

Sporting Kansas City has announced that goalkeeper Tim Melia has signed a contract extension with the club through 2022.

Since joining the club ahead of the 2015 season, Melia has led Sporting to four playoff appearances and two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles as one of the premier goalkeepers in Major League Soccer.

Over the last five regular seasons, Melia leads MLS with 10 saved penalty kicks–four more than any other player–while ranking third in shutouts (45), third in wins (62), fourth in saves (456) and fifth in save percentage (71.5 percent).

“I could not be more excited to extend my contract with a club that has given me so much,” Melia said. “To play any length of time at such a special and supportive club is something all athletes dream of. I only hope to help contribute in bringing our owners, technical staff, players and fans the rewards that Sporting deserves.”

“We are very happy to extend Tim’s contract for the long term,” Sporting Kansas City manager and Sporting director Peter Vermes said. “He has great goalkeeping qualities and has performed at a consistently high level in MLS. Welcoming him for the next three seasons is a big positive for us moving forward.”

Melia, 33, sits atop Sporting’s all-time goalkeeping charts in competitive appearances and starts (170 each), games won (74) and clean sheets (53). In regular season play, he ranks first among Sporting goalkeepers in career minutes and saved penalties, second in saves and save percentage, and third in goals against average.

After spending his first five MLS seasons as a backup at Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA, Melia served as a league pool goalkeeper during the latter half of 2014. He received an emergency call-up from Sporting in August that year and signed permanently for the club the following offseason.

Melia became Sporting’s first-choice goalkeeper by May 2015 and enjoyed the biggest breakthrough of his career, ending the campaign with nine shutouts, a 15-8-5 record across all competitions and his first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship. The New York native was voted the 2015 MLS Comeback Player of the Year, becoming the fourth Sporting player to receive the award.

Melia helped Sporting to the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2016 before reaching new heights in 2017, when he was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. In a brilliant third season with Sporting, he led MLS in goals against average (0.78) save percentage (78.4 percent) and penalty saves (three) while placing second in shutouts (10). He also posted three clean sheets in Sporting’s run to the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, saving two penalties in a shootout win over the San Jose Earthquakes at the semifinal stage.

Another strong campaign in 2018 saw Melia play every minute of the regular season en route to MLS career-highs in shutouts (13) and wins (18-8-8 record). He once again topped MLS with three saved penalties as Sporting finished first in the Western Conference standings and came within one game of MLS Cup. Melia ended the 2019 campaign with a career-high 111 saves in the regular season while hitting double-digits in wins for the fifth straight year.

Melia and Sporting will kick off the 2020 MLS regular season on Feb. 29 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC before hosting the Houston Dynamo on March 7 in the club’s highly anticipated home opener at Children’s Mercy Park. For ticket information, visit SportingKC.com.

  • Story from Sporting KC

Lady Blue Devils cut turnovers in half in 99-42 road win

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Playing back-to-back games proved no problem whatsoever for Kansas City Kansas Community College’s No. 2 ranked Lady Blue Devils Wednesday.

Coming off a 90-69 win over William Penn’s junior varsity Tuesday night, the Blue Devils cut their turnovers in half in a 99-42 win over Missouri Southern’s junior varsity in Joplin Wednesday night. It was the 13th straight win for KCKCC.

The win also boosted the Blue Devils’ record to 17-1 heading into their final two non-conference games, at North Central Missouri (12-5) Saturday at 2 p.m. in Trenton and at Park University junior varsity in Parkville Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Park game was scheduled for Friday but postponed by threatening weather.

“We’ll get North Central’s best shot,” warned KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry. “We only won by 12 at home and they’ll have a big crowd because their men are ranked No. 1 and play Johnson County after our game.”

The Blue Devils never trailed at Missouri Southern, bolting to their biggest first quarter of the season. Knocking down 4-of-8 3-pointers, KCKCC shot 57.1 percent (12-of-21) to open a 35-10 lead. By game’s end, all 11 Blue Devils had scored and all but one had assists or rebounds.

Freshman Kamryn Estell, who was 9-of-12 from the field, led all scorers with 23 points along with eight rebounds and three steals while sophomore Caroline Hoppock continued her blistering offensive start, just missing a double-double for the second game in a row with 20 points and nine rebounds. Playing in only her third game, it was also her third straight game with five 3-pointers, the best 3-game stretch ever.

Tiaira Earnest added three treys, 15 points and eight rebounds while Brodi Byrd contributed nine points, five rebounds and a game high four assists; Aliyah Myers eight points, seven rebounds and three assists; and Destiny Zamudio and Jada Mayberry six points each. Mercer Roberts chipped in with six rebounds as KCKCC dominated the rebounding 53-33.

“I thought the girls came out with a lot of energy from the beginning and worked really hard, especially on the defensive end of the floor,” McKinstry said.

One of the bright spots was just 11 turnovers, about half the number of errors in the last two games.

“I really challenged them to stay disciplined and not let the score dictate their effort or execution and I felt like they did a great job of doing that,” McKinstry said.

“It was nice to see everyone in the scoring column and nearly everyone in rebounds and assists. We continue to share the basketball well and look for one another. This team is as good as any that I’ve had when it comes to sharing the ball.”

The Blue Devils had 17 assists and 11 steals in forcing 19 Missouri Southern turnovers that were converted into 27 points. In shooting, KCKCC was 37-of -76 for 48.7 percent while giving up just 15 field goals in 64 attempts (.234).