Ace Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Kevin Molino is set to miss another year through injury, after going down clutching his right knee in training for United States Major League Soccer (MLS) team Columbus Crew on Tuesday.
Club officials confirmed today that Molino ‘will undergo anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction on his right knee in the near future’ and is expected to be out for between nine to 12 months.
The anticipated time-frame not only rules Molino out for the remainder of the MLS season but is likely to also keep him out of Trinidad and Tobago’s opening Concacaf Nations League assignments in March 2022.
Crew, the defending MLS Cup champions, signed Molino from Minnesota United in the pre-season. However, the former Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive schoolboy missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury and managed just 11 outings and one goal before his ACL gave out.
It is the third time that Molino has suffered a major ACL injury. In 2015, he missed most of the season for Orlando City SC—as well as the 2015 Concacaf Gold Cup and the semifinal round of the 2018 World Cup qualifying series—after tearing the ACL in his right knee.
He then suffered the same injury in his left knee with Minnesota in 2018 and lost another year of football.
Each time, Molino returned with a flurry of goals which ensured his services remained in high demand in the club and international game.
Molino is Trinidad and Tobago’s joint sixth-highest scorer of all time with 23 goals alongside former Stoke City forward Kenwyne Jones. (Molino’s goals came in 55 appearances, while Jones got his from 90 international outings.)
Stern John, a former Crew striker, leads Trinidad and Tobago’s all-time scoring list with 70 international goals, followed by current interim head coach Angus Eve (34), Russell Latapy (29), Arnold Dwarika (28) and Cornell Glen (24).
Molino was unavailable for the entirety of Terry Fenwick’s spell as Men’s National Senior Team head coach, owing to a hamstring injury. But in July, he featured in all five outings for Eve at the Gold Cup—where he scored twice from three starts and two substitute appearances.