Columbus Crew SC Signs Winger Kevin Molino from Free Agency
COLUMBUS - Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has signed midfielder Kevin Molino from free agency. An attacking winger who demonstrated his goal-scoring ability during the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with four goals in three starts, Molino most recently played for Western Conference Finals-contending Minnesota United FC and has six years of experience in Major League Soccer. In total, Molino, aged 30, has made 104 regular-season appearances (91 starts) in MLS, scoring 32 goals and providing 27 assists. In addition to his experience at the club level, Molino has also regularly featured for the Trinidad and Tobago National Team.
"Throughout his time in this League, Kevin Molino has been one of the most talented and explosive wingers in Major League Soccer, and he proved that not only throughout the 2020 regular season, but most recently when it mattered most, in the playoffs, on a team that was minutes away from an MLS Cup final," said Crew SC President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. "Kevin will bring individual game-changing ability, with his smart and technical play, which will aid in our team chemistry with our other top quality attackers. Kevin has also consistently produced goals and assists - a critical asset from the wide position. We know that this offseason, Kevin was rightfully so in high demand domestically and abroad, and we are excited that one of the top players in MLS has chosen Columbus and the Crew Soccer Club as a club of choice as a free agent. We look forward to the impact he will have, which we feel will be immense, as we compete for trophies in multiple competitions in 2021 and beyond."
Molino played for Minnesota United from 2017-2020, joining the Loons ahead of their debut season in MLS. In all, the midfielder made 67 regular-season appearances (58 starts), while registering 21 goals and 18 assists. Prior to his time in Minnesota, Molino spent six seasons with Orlando City SC, playing for the Lions in USL Pro from 2011-2014 and in MLS from 2015-2016. Molino made a total of 37 appearances (33 starts) in MLS regular-season action, netting 11 goals and providing nine assists.
While in USL Pro, the midfielder helped Orlando City win two USL Pro Cups (2011, 2013) and three Commissioner's Cups (2011, 2012, 2014). Individually, Molino was twice named the USL Pro MVP (2012, 2014) and was named to the USL Pro Team of the Season in 2014. Before his time in MLS and USL Pro, Molino played for Trinidad and Tobago topflight clubs Ma Pau SC from 2009-2011 and for San Juan Jabloteh FC during the 2009 season.
At the international level, Molino has earned 48 caps for the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, scoring 20 goals. The midfielder helped his country reach the final of the 2014 Caribbean Cup, finishing as the joint top goal scorer of the tournament, along with Darren Mattocks (Jamaica) and Kervens Belfort (Haiti). Molino has also represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Under-23, U-20 and U-17 levels.
The core of Crew SC's 2020 MLS Cup-winning roster is set to return for the 2021 season. Crew SC exercised the contract options on eight players from its 2020 roster. With 16 other players already under contract for the 2021 season, the addition of Molino gives the Black & Gold a roster that currently features 25 players.
Crew SC's current roster headed into 2021, listed alphabetically by position, is below:
Goalkeepers (4): Evan Bush, Jon Kempin, Matt Lampson, Eloy Room
Defenders (9): Harrison Afful, Chris Cadden, Waylon Francis, Aboubacar Keita, Grant Lillard, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams, Vito Wormgoor
Midfielders (9): Artur, Sebastian Berhalter, Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne, Jr., Aidan Morris, Kevin Molino, Darlington Nagbe, Pedro Santos, Lucas Zelarayan
Forwards (3): Miguel Berry, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gyasi Zardes
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC signs midfielder Kevin Molino from free agency on January 7, 2021.
Name: Kevin Molino
Born: June 17, 1990 in Carenage, Trinidad and Tobago
Hometown: Carenage, Trinidad and Tobago
Citizenship: Trinidad and Tobago
Acquired: Signed by Crew SC from free agency on January 7, 2021
Previous Experience: Minnesota United FC (2017-2020), Orlando City SC (2011-2016), Ma Pau SC from (2009-2011), San Juan Jabloteh FC (2009)
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