Minnesota United has acquired winger Kevin Molino from Orlando City for $650,000 in allocation money. Goalkeeper Patrick McLain is also headed to the Land of 10,000 Lakes as part of the deal. Of that money, Orlando City will keep 450,000 in General Allocation Money and 200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. Although no data before this offseason is publically available, this is said to be one of the richer intra-league deals in MLS history.
Kevin Molino Traded to Minnesota United
For that lofty investment, Minnesota gets themselves an attacker with some MLS experience and a strong familiarity with head coach Adrian Heath. Heath coached Molino for a year and a half a Orlando City.
Impact on Minnesota United
In Molino, Minnesota has a player who can play anywhere in the attacking midfield. Most of his time was spent starting along the left wing, but he had multiple appearances on the other side as well as in the center. He scored 11 times for Orlando last year while also tallying eight assists. This was after missing most of 2015 with a torn ACL.
He is one of the stronger additions to Minnesota’s first ever MLS roster. Despite being only 26 years old, he has more MLS goals than any other player on the Loons’ roster. He joins an attacking unit that contains prolific NASL goal scorer Christian Ramirez, former Leon and Minnesota United NASL star Miguel Ibarra, and former Montreal Impact forward Johan Venegas.
He certainly receives some high praise from his old/new coach. “Where do you start with Kevin as a player, he has incredible touch on the ball, can score goals, can create goals, he has great balance, there’s nothing he can’t do with a football. In my opinion he’s the best player in his position in the country.”
Impact on Orlando City
The money is the interesting part of this deal. While Minnesota is getting a powerful attacking piece, Orlando is getting a boat load of allocation money. How this deal turns out for them in the long run will depend on how they choose to reinvest those funds. They are down an attacking player right now, so their number one priority should be to replace the goal scoring and assisting power of Molino.
This certainly looks like Orlando are trying to overhaul their roster and aren’t going to spare anyone to do so. Having missed out on the playoffs in their first two seasons, the Lions do need to change things. Hopefully getting rid of one of their strongest goal scorers and more talented passers won’t set them back.