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Two-Time USL MVP Molino Up for MLS Comeback Honor

By Staff, 11/01/16, 2:14PM EDT


Trinidad & Tobago international returned from torn ACL to record 11 goals, eight assists

Photo courtesy Orlando City SC

NEW YORK – Two-time USL Most Valuable Player Kevin Molino of Orlando City SC has been nominated for the MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award, announced on Tuesday afternoon. The Trinidad & Tobago international was nominated alongside New York City FC’s Frank Lampard and the Philadelphia Union’s Chris Pontius.

Molino – who claimed MVP honors for the Lions in both 2012 and 2014 – had a breakout season in MLS this year after seeing his season come to an end prematurely due to a torn ACL in his first season in the league. Molino recorded 11 goals and eight assists in 30 regular-season appearances for the Lions, continuing the prolificacy in front of goal that marked his time in the USL.

Molino’s 11 goals and eight assists placed him second in both categories for Orlando, while he was also named to the MLS Team of the Week on three occasions. In addition to his club exploits, Molino also helped Trinidad & Tobago qualify for the final stage of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, set to kick off next week.

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard, who began his career in the USL with the North Jersey Imperials, was nominated for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year as his seven shutouts in 17 appearances helped lead the Rapids to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference of the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

A number of former PDL standouts were also nominated for honors, with the New York Red Bulls’ Sacha Kljestan being nominated for the Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Award. FC Dallas’ Matt Hedges (Reading United AC) and the Colorado Rapids’ Axel Sjoberg (Thunder Bay Chill) were also named finalists for the MLS Defender of the Year award, while the New York Red Bulls’ Luis Robles (Boulder Rapids Reserve) was nominated alongside Howard for Goalkeeper of the Year.

Seattle Sounders FC’s Jordan Morris (Sounders FC U23) and the Philadelphia Union’s Keegan Rosenberry (Reading United AC) were both nominated for the MLS Rookie of the Year award, while the LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes (Ventura County Fusion), who also made an appearance for the USL’s LA Galaxy II in 2014, was named as a finalist for Humanitarian of the Year Award. Rosenberry was also named as a finalist for the MLS Individual Fair Play Award.

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