Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino was named the “Most Valuable Player” for the 2012 season of the USL Pro Division, the second tier of league football in the United States.
Molino completed another outstanding season with seven assists and three goals to help his Orlando City to the regular season title.
The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday with Orlando coach Adrian Heath also taking away the “Coach of the Year “ award.
The 21-year-old Molino was delighted as ever. He also received the "MVP" award at Orlando recently.
“It’s a really great feeling to get this award,” he told TTFF Media.
“I wanted the club MVP award which I got a couple weeks ago but I don’t think I was really expecting to get MVP for the League. It’s a bit of a surprise but I’m happy because hard work and belief in God throughout everything paid off for me.”
Heath has spoken of his fears of losing Molino to a club in Europe and it is expected that a decision on the player’s future will be made within the next few days.
“I have always had an ambition to play in Europe but I will play wherever God wants me to. Orlando has been great to me. I have enjoyed these two seasons with them a whole lot,” Molino said.
The League’s statement on Molino read: “The Trinidad and Tobago international claimed MVP honors after a standout season that saw him act as a catalyst for an Orlando side that led USL PRO with 50 goals, an average of more than 2.5 per game.
Molino himself finished second in the league with seven assists, adding three goals, but in addition his ability to stretch the field against opposing defenses made him the key figure for the Lions’ attack all season.”
USL PRO honored its top performers of the season today, announcing the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Coach of the Year from the 2012 season.
The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina, site of Saturday’s USL PRO Championship Game featuring the Charleston Battery and Wilmington Hammerheads at Blackbaud Stadium.
Voting for the awards was conducted by league coaches and managers.
Most Valuable Player – Kevin Molino, Orlando City
The Trinidad and Tobago international claimed MVP honors after a standout season that saw him act as a catalyst for an Orlando side that led USL PRO with 50 goals, an average of more than 2.5 per game. Molino himself finished second in the league with seven assists, adding three goals, but in addition his ability to stretch the field against opposing defenses made him the key figure for the Lions’ attack all season.
Rookie of the Year – Jose Cuevas, Charleston Battery
A season after starring in the PDL for the Fresno Fuego, Cuevas brought creativity and versatility to the Battery’s attack throughout the season. Playing as both a forward, and at times an attacking midfielder, Cuevas led all rookies with 18 points, scoring seven goals and adding four assists, as he helped the Battery finish third in the USL PRO regular season.
Coach of the Year – Adrian Heath, Orlando City
Named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season, Heath’s ability to motivate and get the most out of his roster led to the Lions falling just once in the USL PRO regular season. Orlando has now gone undefeated at the Florida Citrus Bowl in the past two regular seasons, with Heath also helping fulfill the potential of the league’s leading scorer Dennis Chin in his second professional season.
Defender of the Year – Troy Roberts, Rochester Rhinos
Calm and in control at the heart of the Rhinos’ defense, Troy Roberts had another exceptional season in 2012. Named to the USL PRO All-League defense for the second consecutive season, Roberts played every minute of every game as the Rhinos conceded an average of less than a goal per game.
Goalkeeper of the Year – Kristian Nicht, Rochester Rhinos
In his first season in North America, the German standout put in a remarkable run to open the USL PRO season, recording six consecutive shutouts. Nicht continued his outstanding play throughout the remainder of the season, finishing the season with the league lead in shutouts (11), second in goals-against average (0.909) and fourth in total saves (86).
The Charleston Battery will host the Wilmington Hammerheads in the 2012 USL PRO Championship Game on Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the game being aired live at USLNation.com.