One of Orlando City's most exciting players hardly saw the pitch last season, as Kevin Molino missed all but eight games of the Lions' inaugural season after suffering an ACL tear in a May friendly at the Citrus Bowl.
Molino's loss proved to be a heavy burden on Orlando City, which ultimately missed out on the playoffs in the final week of the season. Although there's no telling what would have happened last season had the Trinidadian midfielder not gotten injured, it's easy to say things would have been fairly different.
The great news for Orlando City fans is that Molino is back, working his way slowly into full action this preseason. The winger debuted last week against the New York Red Bulls, coming on in the second half and assisting on the Lions' game-winning goal. Yesterday, Molino played the second half of the Lions' friendly against Toronto FC, setting up Kaká's game-winning goal by drawing a penalty kick.
Molino showed many of the qualities that won him the USL MVP award in 2014 and flashed great moments before the injury last season, as arguably one of the best players on the pitch during his appearance.
It's a sentiment that's been echoed plenty of times this off-season, and is proving more and more true: A healthy Kevin Molino will be a huge addition for Orlando City this season.
His connection with Kaká was a danger for opposing teams early on in 2015. Watching the two link up was one of the most entertaining features of early-season games last year. Having those two together again will be, well, exciting, to say the least.
Molino looks healthy, is playing well, and is working to prove that he can best one of the best wingers in MLS.
Molino Mania is real, and it's spectacular.