As a staff, we have named Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia as our Most Valuable Player of the US Open Cup.
Melia played all 120 minutes, registering seven saves with five punches and two crosses caught. He was all over the box Wednesday night, stopping potential attacks before they began. His one goal allowed was enough to keep Sporting KC in the game to equalize in the second half. Without Melia, the Union may have had a much better first half on the scoreboard
In penalty kicks, Melia came up with two big saves. The first was in the third frame to deny a weak shot from Maurice Edu, although Sporting KC was not able to capitalize as Krisztian Nemeth's third frame shot was blocked too. In the eighth frame, however, Melia made a kick save to stop Andrew Wenger's shot, which set up the winning penalty from Jordan Quintilla in the bottom half of the frame.
No other player was consistently good throughout the match as Melia, who definitely earned Most Valuable Player.
Krisztian Nemeth- Nemeth, who fans weren't even sure how long he'd be able to play, went the full 120 minutes and gave Sporting KC their only goal of the evening with a beautiful curling shot that was placed just perfectly.
Jordi Quintilla- Quintilla, as one of the least experienced members of Sporting KC, didn't show it as he came on in the second half for an injured Soni Mustivar, played decent enough defense and stepped up to hit the final penalty, earning him a certain level of cult hero status as he turned to Jacob Peterson before Peterson was to step up to hit the penalty and instead said "Jake, I go."