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Sporting Kansas City Season Preview: Keepers

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A look at Sporting Kansas City’s three keepers and how they plan to fit into the club in 2017.

MLS: Sporting KC at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

With Sporting Kansas City set to kickoff their 2017 campaign this Saturday against D.C. United the staff here at The Blue Testament got together and voted on who we believe will be the starters in Peter Vermes’ 4-3-3 system. We’ll start with the easiest position group, goalkeepers, and work our way forward from there. Without further ado.

Tim Melia

Starter

The seven-year MLS veteran, first joined Sporting KC as a pool league goalkeeper, earning a full contract with the club in December 2014. In 2015, he started 23 matches and recorded eight clean sheets with an 11-8-4 record. His most notable game was when he recorded six saves in a 1-0 victory over Portland on Oct. 3rd., just days after saving two penalty kicks in a victorious shootout in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.

Melia went on to complete another strong campaign during the 2016 season, having started 29 matches and posting an 11-13-5 record with eight shutouts. During both seasons, Tim was nominated and won several Team of the Week and MLS Save of the Week honors, including being named 2015 MLS Comeback Player of the Year.

Melia returns to Sporting KC for his third season with the team. He started three matches during the 2017 Desert Diamond Cup, playing the full 90 minutes in the final match against New York City FC, only allowing one goal and denying Moralez’s corner on the goal line.

The Blue Testament staff has unanimously voted on Media as the starter, unsurprisingly.

Adrian Zendejas

Backup

Zendejas joins Sporting KC after a successful first year with the Swope Park Rangers. The 21-year-old, debuted in a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy II in the USL and started five of the team’s final seven regular season matches, earning a perfect 5-0-0 record with three shutouts. Zendejas continued his perfect record during the postseason, were he earned two more clean sheets as the Rangers won three straight victories to the USL Cup Final.

Kicking off his career with the senior team, Zendejas has appeared twice for the club during the 2017 Desert Diamond Cup. I predict Adrian becoming a very good backup because like Melia, Zendejas can block multiple attempts exceptionally well. Zendejas also has a good chance of being loaned to the Swope Park Rangers to get more starting experience.

Andrew Dykstra

Backup

Dykstra joins Sporting KC after being selected during Stage Two of the 2016 MLS Re-Entry Draft. The former D.C. United goalkeeper began his professional career with the Chicago Fire and then served as a backup goalkeeper to Bill Hamid from 2012-2016.

Although, the seven-year MLS veteran got off to rocky start with Sporting KC falling to the New England Revolution in his first appearance during the 2017 Desert Diamond Cup, I predict he will be a good contender for backup this season.