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Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino celebrates his first-half goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs first-round game against the Colorado Rapids at Allianz Field on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. (Courtesy of Minnesota United)
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The Crew has signed free agent midfielder Kevin Molino to a multi-year deal ahead of the 2021 season, a league source confirmed to The Dispatch.

The Athletic was the first to report the signing Wednesday.

Molino had been in conversations with the Crew for the last few weeks. In the last week, the two sides were able to make progress toward a deal that would bring the winger to Columbus.

Molino, 30, is coming off one of his most productive seasons in Major League Soccer, scoring nine goals with four assists in 18 games in the regular season with Minnesota United. He added four goals in three games during the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. 

A Trinidad and Tobago international, Molino is one of the better attacking midfielders in MLS. He mostly plays on the wing, but has shown an ability to play centrally in the attack as well.

Molino joins a group of wingers with Pedro Santos, Luis Diaz and Derrick Etienne Jr. Santos and Diaz entered the offseason as the presumptive starters at left and right wing, respectively. Molino will likely enter preseason camp as the starter on the right wing in coach Caleb Porter’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system. 

In 104 appearances in six MLS seasons with Minnesota and Orlando City, Molino has scored 32 goals with 27 assists. 

He said goodbye to Minnesota United fans via Instagram on Dec. 16. In his past, Molino has had ACL surgery on both knees, once in 2015 and again in 2018. This past season, however, Molino proved he has plenty left in the tank and might be in the prime of his career entering his first season with the defending MLS Cup champions. 

The Crew now has 25 of 30 roster spots filled for 2021.


SOURCE: The Columbus Dispatch