Even when he wasn't scoring goals, Kevin Molino brought value to Orlando City SC. Putting the ball in the net at a high rate has made him the early front-runner for USL Pro MVP.
Molino leads the league with nine goals in Orlando's 12 matches, two more than he scored in three previous seasons. He scored a hat trick May 21 against Charlotte and has been a vital piece to the attack for the league-leading Lions.
"My hopes have always been from when I first set my eyes on him that he could become a top drawer player," Orlando coach Adrian Heath said. "The one thing about him was he didn't score enough goals. Kevin's always made a lot of goals, but he hasn't scored a lot of them."
That's changed this year, as Molino has been more assertive about getting in the box and taking some chances for himself, Heath said. Molino is still tied for the league lead in assists (five), but his newfound goal-scoring prowess has given the team another layer of scoring.
Orlando has won nine of its last 10 and is the only remaining undefeated team in USL Pro. With matches against the Montreal Impact Reserves and struggling Dayton and Orange County, Orlando could realistically be undefeated heading into a stretch at the end of June against LA Galaxy II, Sacramento and Wilmington (twice).
"Obviously, the first few games, it was different," Heath said of the team's 0-0-2 start. "We've been on a little bit of a roll as of late. Once you start to win games, the confidence comes back."