After setting a USL PRO record in 2013 for the most goals scored in a single season, Dom Dwyer returned to Sporting Kansas City from his Orlando City SC loan stint a new man.
Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino, the first MLS-signee for the club, hopes to have the same sort of crossover success when the expansion Lions move up to Major League Soccer next season. On Saturday, Molino’s goal in the 19th minute in a 3-1 over Harrisburg City gave him a record-tying 15 on the season.
Molino is currently tied with Dwyer and former New York Red Bulls forward Jose Angulo of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for the most goals scored in a USL PRO season with six league matches left. Dwyer has netted 16 goals so far this year in his first full season as a starter with Sporting KC.
“Kevin’s actually starting now to do what we’ve asked of him,” Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath said after Saturday’s match. “He’s got incredible ability. We’ve always said he should score more goals, and now he’s starting to put that into his game, another layer on top of what he’s already got.”
Molino has done his best to deflect any attention from his stellar season by focusing on the aspirations of the team, even as fans and Dwyer, who reached out to Molino by text message last week to wish him luck in his pursuit of the mark, have been rooting for his individual success along the way.
“It [doesn't] matter if I score anymore,” said the Trinidad and Tobago international. “We’re just trying to go on and win the league and [get] home advantage for the playoffs, but I’m delightful for being [tied] for the record right now.”
Molino has scored in 11 of 21 matches this season, including a hat trick against Charlotte on May 21 and braces against both Charlotte (Aug. 2) and the FC Dallas Reserves (April 22). He also leads the team with seven assists and is tops among all players in USL PRO with 37 points.
“What you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it,” Molino said. “In the offseason I put in a lot of work to get the success so far, but it isn’t finished yet.”
Orlando City sit atop the USL PRO table with a 16-2-4 mark (52 points) and have secured a home playoff game in the first round of the USL PRO postseason on Sept. 13.