National team forward Kevin Molino received the top scorer award at the Caribbean Cup Finals on Tuesday night after finishing the tournament with three goals. He was tied with Jamaica’s Darren Mattocks and Haiti’s Kervens Belfort.

Molino was called up to the stage to receive the trophy during the post-game awards ceremony when Mattocks unceremoniously made his way on stage and relieved Molino of the trophy shortly after the Orlando City midfielder collected it. The awkward situation was not taken lightly by a couple CFU officials as well as the Haiti contingent on hand at the time.

Molino however saw the lighter side to it.

“To me it’s no problem if he wanted to rush to collect the trophy. It’s just a trophy anyways but I’m grateful to have won the award itself because of me scoring goals at a tournament like this was important, especially as it meant getting my country to the final and the Concacaf Gold Cup,” said Molino who also scored four goals in the previous semi-final round and now has 11 goals in 29 senior international appearances.

Commenting on the team’s performance, Molino added, “We didn’t get it right in the final but we came a long way. Playing Jamaica at home was tough because there was a lot at stake and the Jamaicans are a tough bunch in their backyard. But we are building and the team is progressing well. I think we can have a strong team for the Gold Cup and the World Cup qualifiers,” he added.

Molino named on All Star team
By Ian Prescott (Express).

He dribbles, he sets up teammates, and he also scores goals. Twenty-fourteen is the year when Trinidad and Tobago’s Kevin Molino emerged a Caribbean star.

The 24-year-old  Carenage-born T&T striker gained consolation of being named one of the top two strikers on the 2014 Caribbean Cup All Star team.

And Molino also had the distinction of being joint top scorer with Haiti’s Kerven Belfort and Jamaica’s Darren Mattocks, the trio having scored three goals apiece from four matches at the 2014 Caribbean Cup. Also on the All Star team was Vietnam-based T&T central defender Daneil Cyrus.

Molino might have also been named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player had Trinidad and Tobago won the penalty shootout which gave Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz their sixth regional title. 

The MVP award was a toss up really between the tournament’s two outstanding players. 

Just before leaving the venue, prior to the presentation ceremony, the adjudicating CONCACAF official left instructions that if hosts Jamaica eventually won the final, its outstanding captain and Leeds United midfielder Rudolph Austin would take the award. If the Soca Warriors won, then Molino would get it. It was already decided that third-placed Haiti would win the Fair Play award. 

When Khaleem Hyland put T&T’s final spot kick over the bar in a 4-3 penalty shootout defeat to Jamaica, Molino’s MVP award also flew away. Molino was also deservedly named one of the tournament’s two best forwards. 

The dyed blonde hair US-based Orlando City striker really caught the imagination of Jamaicans, who still talk about the prowess of Russell Latapy and his early days at Seba United, the Jamaican club. Many shouted Molino’s name whenever he touched the ball, most simply referred to him as “Trinidad’s baller”.

In two tournaments, Molino grew from being a talented attacking midfielder, who did not always protect the ball well, to becoming, arguably, the single most dangerous forward in the Caribbean. One on one, he  was almost unstoppable. 

The Jamaicans tackled him in bunches, forcing him across the penalty area, rather than through it. Molino also won the praises of his T&T head coach Stephen Hart, who is amazed as his work rate. “A modern striker,” Hart describes Molino as, adding that as an attacking player, he can do everything.