Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sporting KC signs goalkeeper Tim Melia


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Sporting Kansas City has signed 28-year-old goalkeeper Tim Melia, the club announced on Tuesday.

"I am really excited about the opportunity," Melia said. "I had the chance to work with the Sporting KC coaches as a pool goalkeeper earlier this year and Kansas City is a great place where professionals can thrive. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to come into a club with a talented staff and team in place to go along with the best fans and facilities in the League."

Melia enters his sixth MLS season in 2015 after previously representing Real Salt Lake (2010-2011) and Chivas USA (2012-2014), where he backed up MLS All-Stars Nick Rimando (RSL) and Dan Kennedy (CHV). He most recently served as a League Pool Goalkeeper, earning emergency call-ups from MLS Cup Playoff participants Sporting KC (August), FC Dallas (October) and D.C. United (November) in late 2014.

During his brief time with Sporting Kansas City, Melia appeared on the bench for three MLS matches at Sporting Park and also traveled with the club for a CONCACAF Champions League group stage match in Nicaragua. The 28-year-old now returns to the team's roster as one of three goalkeepers under contract for the 2015 season along with Luis Marin (pending receipt of P-1 Visa) and Jon Kempin.

Melia's professional career began in 2008 with the Rochester Rhinos in the USL First Division. He made 14 league appearances (4-3-7) over two seasons with 62 saves, six shutouts and a 0.98 goals against average. In addition, he saw action in three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches (1-1-1) with 13 saves and a 1.10 goals against average en route to a semifinal berth in the 2009 edition of the competition.

In 2010, Melia joined reigning MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake and spent part of the season on loan in the USL Second Division with the Charleston Battery. He made 19 appearances (12-4-3) for the Battery with 59 saves, five shutouts and a 1.19 goals against average to help lead Charleston to a first place finish in the regular season standings and eventually the league title with eight saves in the championship match. He excelled in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the second straight year, making eight saves to shutout the Chicago Fire and see Charleston through to the quarterfinal round.

His 2011 campaign was highlighted by a short-term loan to FC New York during USL PRO's inaugural season. He made four appearances (2-1-1) with eight saves, one clean sheet and a 1.00 goals against average while playing near his hometown of East Islip, New York on Long Island.

Melia joined Chivas USA in 2012, making a combined nine saves in his first two MLS appearances and making three starts in the U.S. Open Cup to lead the Rojiblancos on a run that ended in the tournament's semifinal round. He again earned an end-of-year cameo in 2013 - making eight saves over two starts - and concluded his tenure with Chivas USA by logging 74 minutes split over back-to-back matches during the club's send-off season in 2014.

Melia is the sixth addition to Sporting Kansas City's roster for the 2015 season, along with Marin, defender Jalil Anibaba, midfielder Bernardo AƱor, midfielder James Marcelin and forward Krisztian Nemeth. Additionally, the club signed MLS All-Star Dom Dwyer to a contract extension earlier this month.