TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Re-signed
With the 2018 campaign about to kick off, Sporting Kansas City made a commitment to three important players — for this season and beyond.
On Tuesday, SKC announced they had come to terms on new contracts with goalkeeper Tim Melia, defender Ike Opara and forward Daniel Salloi.
Melia, the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, signed a three-year deal through 2020, while Opara, the reigning MLS Defender of the Year, and Salloi inked two-year contracts through 2019 with options. Opara’s option is for 2020 and Salloi’s are for 2020 and 2021.
Melia, 31, is coming off his best season, snagging MLS Best XI honors on top of his Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year award after leading the league with a a 0.78 goals against average, 78.4 save percentage and three penalty-kick saves.
The nine-year MLS veteran has been SKC’s starter for the last three seasons, and ranks third in MLS history with a 1.12 career goals against average among goalkeepers with at least 5,000 minutes played.
Opara, 29, is also coming off a big-time season, spearheading a dominant defense that conceded just 29 regular-season goals en route to his own MLS Best XI honors and the MLS Defender of the Year award. In his fifth season with SKC last year, he set career highs in starts (30) and minutes played (2,700) while scoring four goals in all competitions.
Opara — who’s started 84 games in all competitions since joining SKC in 2013 — made his US national team debut in a scoreless draw vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina last month.
Daniel Salloi | USA Today Sports Images
While less heralded than the other two, Salloi (pictured above) showed a lot of promise last season, finishing with six goals in 27 matches — three in MLS play and three during SKC’s run to the US Open Cup title, including the game-winning strike in the final. The 21-year-old forward was signed to a Homegrown deal in 2016 but spent the 2016 season on loan with the Swope Park Rangers and Hungarian club Gyirmot SE.
Sporting Kansas City begins their quest for an eight straight MLS Cup playoff berth on Sunday, opening the season with a home game against New York City FC (7:30 pm ET, FS1).