Earlier this week, Sporting KC did a spoof on the Bachelor where Peter Vermes handed out roses to players that would be making the trip to the Rose City to take on the Portland Timbers. During that it was said that Tim Melia had already received his rose and would be going to the Rose City. Last night against the Timbers, Melia proved why he'd been the first rose recipient as the KC goalkeeper came up with seven saves as KC ended their three game losing streak with a 0-0 draw in Portland.
The first half saw both teams really struggle to create much in the way of offense. Jacob Peterson had an early chance when goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey and defender Norberto Paparatto didn't communicate well enough, but Kwarasey recovered to knock the ball out. The best chance in the first half came in the 29th when Fanendo Adi was played through on goal. Out racing Matt Besler, Adi got a shot off but Melia made a nice kick save to knock the ball away. KC's best first half chance came in the 33rd off a Besler long throw. Saad Abdul-Salaam got his head on it and tried to flick it on goal but it ended up being easily collected by Kwarasey.
The second half though things really opened up, especially for the Timbers who really started to fly forward countering Kc's possession. In the 49th Adi had another really good opportunity down KC's right a cross came into Adi in the box and he got a free header on net but Melia made a nice diving save stopping the ball on the line and not allowing a rebound. Portland continued to keep Melia busy in the second half with Melia forced to make a diving save on Lucas Melano after he was played in on goal in front of Abdul-Salaam. KC for having possession really struggled to create many chances, their best chances were coming off of Besler long throws and it almost saw KC grab the lead in the 64th when a ball sailed through the box and bounced in front of Graham Zusi. The midfielder brought it down and fired a low shot that beat Kwarasey but not the post as the ball bounced into play and eventually away. That chance led to a counter at the other end as KC got caught forward, but again Melia came to the rescue taking the ball off of Melano's foot as he received a pass into KC's box. Two minutes later, in the 66th, Melano was again played into the box, this time he touched it around an oncoming Melia and tried to play a ball across the face of goal, but Kevin Ellis had recovered at the near post and knocked the ball out for a corner. Portland continued to come forward, mainly on the counter or from set pieces but Melia and the KC defense was able to hold them off. KC had some half chances with Abdul-Salaam playing a cross that went through the entire box with a KC player not able to get their foot on the ball. Meanwhile Melia was denying Diego Valeri and Maximiliano Urruti to keep the shut out. It certainly wasn't pretty from KC, but it was a vast improvement from the KC defense with Soni Mustivar slotted back in front of them, as they were able to keep their first shutout since early July.
Wizards Man of the Match - Tim Melia - Really it's not even a contest, Melia with his seven saves was immense for Kansas City last night. He made a number of strong saves and was good coming off his line as well to stop other chances throughout the night.
Player Ratings - Melia 9, Abdul-Salaam 6, Ellis 6, Beslser 7, Sinovic 6, Mustivar 7, Nagamura 6, Feilhaber 5, Zusi 6, Dwyer 4, Peterson 4. Subs Anibaba 6, Anor 5, Quintilla NR.