09 Jun 2012
- Written by Megan Walsh (Orlando Sentinel)
- Hits: 845
Kevin Molino is a quiet threat for the Orlando City Soccer Club.
As the league-leading Lions prepare to play the Charleston Battery for first place at 7:30 Saturday night, Molino won't be heard much from his spot in the Florida Citrus Bowl's midfield.
"When it's time to talk, you have to talk," said Molino, who has a team-high nine points in USL Pro division play. "I just don't want to talk a lot. I want to go out there and get the job done."
The reserved Trinidad and Tobago native arrived in the United States 18 months ago to play for Orlando City. Molino, 21, competes with his national team, and that experience — along with his improvement over two seasons with the Lions — has the potential to make him a special player.
"He's already bridging that gap between being a young player with Trinidad and Tobago to being one of their best players with the full team," Orlando City coach Adrian Heath said. "If Kevin understands what he actually he has, what talent he has, there's no end to how far he can go in the game."
Heath said Molino has improved so much that he is unrecognizable from the player who first arrived in Orlando. His teammates helped Molino's transition to a new country.
He roomed with another Trinidad and Tobago national-team player, Devorn Jorsling, last season, and he befriended forward Dennis Chin, who is originally from Jamaica.
"We have a similar Caribbean background because I was born in Jamaica, but I grew up here so I got the best of both worlds," said Chin, who played for Oviedo High and Rollins."When he first moved here, I knew it was kind of tough for him, so I finally kind of brought him in."
Their friendship introduced Molino to things he now loves about his new home, such as Mexican food and FIFA soccer.
One thing that Molino has not left behind is his laid-back attitude, otherwise known as "island time.'' Heath has developed a remedy for Molino's lateness: a fine system.
The penalties depend on the extent of his tardiness, which Molino said have been about $50.
"I want him to be a better professional every single day," Heath said. "I want him to eat better. I want him to drink better. I want him to look after himself better. Not that he's doing bad stuff, but I want him to be better.
"I'm just trying to give him the tools to take him to the next level."