Melia saved Cristian Espinoza’s attempt in the first round, after Johnny Russell put his effort past Daniel. It set the stage for a 4-2 home victory, improving Melia’s professional record to 7-0 in shootouts and 5-0 for SKC.
“He’s the best I’ve ever known, both as a player and as a coach, in terms of penalty kicks,” SKC manager Peter Vermes said after the game. “He is absolutely amazing. He just is. He’s amazing.”
Melia has been at the center of some of Sporting’s biggest moments in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and now he will play a key role as their rivalry with St. Louis really lights up.
“I love it. I’ve only had the chance to play there once – I missed the first away game – but they bring it to the stadium, they’re a good team, they attack quickly, so we have to be ready for them.” Melia said at the MLS Wrap-Up.
“This is what we want to do as professional athletes. We want to be in those big games, we want to be in those pressure moments, so I think everyone is looking forward to it.”