JACKSONVILLE, FL — It was just a couple of years ago that Kevin Molino was running up and down the field for Orlando City in the USL, scoring goals, winning championships, and capturing two league MVP awards. Now, Molino is plying his trade on a different stage, in World Cup qualifiers with the Trinidad and Tobago national team.
Molino was on the field Tuesday night when the Soca Warriors lost to the United States, 4-0, at EverBank Field. Even with the loss, Trinidad & Tobago advanced to the Hex in November due to a second-place finish in Group C of CONCACAF qualifying.
Trinidad & Tobago has only made one World Cup finals appearance — in Germany in 2006.
While the loss put a damper on what was otherwise a successful group stage campaign for Molino and company, there are still high hopes in the side for what’s ahead in qualifying.
"First, we have to be hungry. We have to be a hungry bunch of guys — we need each and every one," Molino said after a full 90 minutes against the USMNT. "It’s not going to take just one player to take us to the next round. But we just need to be more hungry and focus on the task at hand, and we need to make those handful of chances come when we get to the Hex."
Sporting the No. 10 for his home country, Molino has scored 13 goals in 34 career caps with Trinidad & Tobago, and is drawing on a bigger role as his continues to grow and make a bigger impact for Orlando City, week in and week out.
"It was a good three years in USL," Molino said. "I was to be a part of a great team, and a great coach and coaching staff. But the most important thing for me when you transfer into MLS is the quality. My concentration has to be at a much higher level and I have to be much more hungrier. I can just continue working on that and continue to help my team, and hopefully we can get into the playoffs."
Molino has nine goals and seven assists for this Lions this season, coming off ACL surgery last spring.
It hasn’t been the season Orlando City was hoping for, from a wins and losses perspective, but with Molino’s help, the Lions are still sitting in a playoff spot with seven games left to play.