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Sporting Kansas City Goalkeeper Tim Melia Named MLS Comeback Player of the Year

Contact: MLS Communications
Sporting Kansas City Goalkeeper Tim Melia Named MLS Comeback Player of the Year
After being waived halfway through 2014, Melia returned to become regular starter in his sixth season
NEW YORK, NY (Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015) – Major League Soccer announced today that Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia is the MLS Comeback Player of the Year. The annual award honors a player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity in order to achieve success during the regular season.
In his first five MLS seasons, Melia was mostly a backup goalkeeper. He did not appear in any regular season matches during his first two years with Real Salt Lake, and then started five total matches over two and a half seasons with Chivas USA before being waived on July 10, 2014 with a career record of 0-4-1.
Melia became a pool goalkeeper and was signed by Sporting Kansas City prior to the 2015 season, along with Chile’s 2010 World Cup goalkeeper, Luis Marin, who started the club’s first eight matches. However after registering only two wins in the first two months, Melia started the club’s ninth match – on May 3, 2015 – and he never looked back.
The 29-year-old became the first goalkeeper in MLS history to post shutouts in six of his first nine starts with a new club, and the team went 7-1-2 in his first 10 starts. He went on to start 23 regular season matches and record eight clean sheets with an 11-8-4 record. The East Islip New York-native also added four more wins in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which Sporting KC won with Melia making two saves in the penalty kick shootout against the Philadelphia Union in the final.
All clubs had an opportunity to submit nominees for the award, which was voted on by MLS club management, media, and MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting results for the top three vote-getters:
Player (Club)
% of Club Votes
% of Media Votes
% of Player Votes
Weighted Total
Tim Melia (SKC)
Diego Valeri (POR)
Wil Trapp (CLB)
MLS Comeback Player of the Year Winners:
2015: Tim Melia – Sporting Kansas City
2014: Rodney Wallace – Portland Timbers
2013: Kevin Alston – New England Revolution
2012: Eddie Johnson – Seattle Sounders FC
2011: David Beckham – Los Angeles Galaxy
2010: Bobby Convey – San Jose Earthquakes
2009: Zach Thornton – Chivas USA
2008: Kenny Cooper – FC Dallas
2007: Eddie Johnson – Kansas City Wizards
2006: Richard Mulrooney – FC Dallas
2005: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2004: Brian Ching – San Jose Earthquakes
2003: Chris Armas – Chicago Fire
2002: Chris Klein – Kansas City Wizards
2001: Troy Dayak – San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards