With the buzz in LA growing, Tim Melia slowed down the Zlatan hype train — and wrestled the MLS Player of the Week award from the Galaxy’s newest star.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the award the previous week after his mesmerizing debut, but Melia made the Swedish legend’s second MLS game less memorable with a career-best 10 saves, including three on Ibrahimovic in the second half, to spark a 2-0 road victory Sunday at the StubHub Center.
The 10 saves set a Sporting KC regular-season record, and Melia’s 20 saves on the season rank third in MLS while his two shutouts are tied for the league lead.
Despite being peppered by the Galaxy, who attempted 22 shots on the night, Melia kept the clean sheet, making a spectacular diving stop on Ashley Cole’s long-range shot in the 43rd minute and coming through with a big save on Romain Alessandrini’s close-range shot in the 66th minute.
His three saves on Ibrahimovic all came on long-range shots in the final 23 minutes after the striker entered as a late sub.
Melia and SKC return to action Sunday to host winless Seattle at Children’s Mercy Park (4 pm ET | ESPN - Full TV & streaming info).
The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is chosen each week of the regular season by members of the North American Soccer Reporters. The organization includes print, television, radio and online journalists who cover domestic men's soccer in the United States and Canada.