Kevin Molino is peaking at just the right time for Minnesota United and a Trinidad & Tobago national team hoping to spoil the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup Qualifying run.
The Soca Warriors are calling up a forward/attacking midfielder that happens to be in playing lights out for Minnesota United in MLS. Molino scored the late, late winner for the Loons as they stunned Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Tuesday night, but that’s only the icing on the cake for his form heading into a pair of World Cup Qualifying matches against CONCACAF’s biggest teams.
He’s scored twice and notched a pair of assists over the last four matches, helping them wins in three out of their last four games.
Two of those wins came on the road against playoff contending opposition, and those matches just happened to be two of Molino’s best performances.
The run began back on Sept. 16 in a dramatic 3-2 win over the Montreal Impact. Molino started played all 90 minutes in the No. 10 role. His command of the attack was evident as he completed 34 passes and nearly created a goal off a set piece with a perfectly placed free kick that found the head of Francisco Calvo at the top of the six yard box. He also scored from the penalty spot to level the scoring midway through the first half.
Then there was Tuesday night against red hot Atlanta United in the newly christened hostile environment of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This time playing on the left wing in a 4-3-3, Molino put in a man of the match performance. He completed 31 passes, including six that set up a shot, assisted on Abu Danladi’s opening goal, and, most importantly, put the slightest of touches on Jerome Thiesson’s cross in the 96th minute to complete a stunning stoppage time comeback.
Molino’s recent contributions have not been limited to those two matches, either. He completed 88% of his passes and provided an assist in the No. 10 role in a 4-1 dismantling of FC Dallas on Sept. 23. He was subbed off after 70 minutes, but the Loons were already controlling the match with a 2-1 lead, in large part thanks to Molino’s passing prowess.
So, now he hopes to carry that form into two big international matches with Trinidad & Tobago. They travel to Estadio Azteca on Friday night to face Mexico, who may already have their World Cup spot sewn up, but are bringing their A-team to the fight anyway. Then the Soca Warriors look to play spoiler as the U.S. Men’s National Team comes to Ato Boldon Stadium to close out the Hex.
You can expect Molino to be up for the challenge. El Tri and, more importantly, the Stars and Stripes will have their hands full with him over the next week.