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Sporting KC 2019 Year in Review: Tim Melia

We continue our look back at 2019 with basically the only guy to stand between the posts in 2019.

SOCCER: AUG 17 MLS - San Jose Earthquakes at Sporting Kansas City Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2019 MLS season is one Sporting Kansas City fans will be looking to forget. But with a very long offseason ahead that may not have soccer until March (assuming no MLSPA strike), we feel compelled to look back at the good and the bad from 2019. For the full list of players reviewed, head to our dedicated Year in Review page.

The Blue Testament continues our look back at 2019 with the the man between the sticks — Tim Melia.

2019 Stats*

Games Played (Started): 32 (32)

Minutes Played: 2.880

Games Suspended: 0

Saves: 111

Goals Against: 60

Shut Outs: 6

Penalty Kick Goals (Attempts): 1 (4)

Positions Played: Goalkeeper

2019 Salary: $341,674.67

Contract Through (Option Years): 2021 (2022)

*All stats from 2019 MLS regular season unless otherwise noted.

Best Moment of 2019

I really struggled with this one. When 60 goals get past you, there aren’t a lot of good moments. I’ll take the cheap route and stretch back to the CONCACAF Champions League where Melia (with an assist from his defense) shut out Toluca FC over two legs in the opening round. That would be two more shut outs for his 2019 season if they came in MLS play. Crazy that he could shut out a Liga MX team (in Mexico at altitude no less) but the defense struggled so mightily against MLS competition.

Worst Moment of 2019

How can seven goals go in and it not be the worst moment? I have to pick the 2-7 drubbing against the LA Galaxy. Again, on most of the goals there was nothing Melia could do but it was a rough night for everyone in a Sporting KC uniform.

Interesting Stat(s)

64. That is the number of goals allowed in by Melia in 2017 and 2018 combined. In 2019, as you can see above, the number was 60. Obviously there are lots of factors going into this number and Melia got hung out to dry a lot in 2019. It is hardly on him but it’s a problem the entire team needs to work to fix.

Bonus stat: 11.5. That is the average number of shut outs for Melia in 2017 and 2018 (10 and 13 respectively). Again, as seen above, there were just six in 2019. You can’t lose games when you don’t allow goals.

Fan Vote: Keep, Banish or Wait

Keep: 93.2%

Banish: 3.9%

Wait: 2.9%

Despite the large increase in goals let in, it’s clear the fans (rightfully) don’t blame Melia (after all... he saves our goooooaaooooalls). Keepers are like wine, they get better with age (up to a certain point). Melia will be 34 in May. He still made quite a few fantastic saves that a lesser keeper may have let in. He’ll definitely be back (he’s guaranteed for two more seasons). There is a lot less certainty with his backups returning.