Former Trinidad and Tobago winger Kevin Molino is set to make another important transition in his career, as he has parted ways with Major League Soccer (MLS) team Columbus Crew by mutual agreement.

Molino's departure from the club after three seasons, follows his retirement international duty in September last year.

Columbus Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko, said after discussions with the 33-year-old Molino, both parties mutually agreed to terminate the midfielder’s contract.

“On behalf of the Club, I would like to thank Kevin for his contributions to the Crew over the past three seasons. He is a talented and solid professional who brought good, positive energy to the team, on and off the field,” Bezbatchenko said in a release on the club website.

“After speaking with Kevin, we have agreed to allow him to pursue other opportunities. It’s been a pleasure to work with him, including winning an MLS title last season, and we wish him all the best in the future," he added.

Molino joined Columbus Crew as a Free Agent on January 7, 2021, and appeared in 31 regular season games, 11 of which he started, scoring two goals and adding two assists.

In the Crew’s 2023 post-season campaign, Molino made five appearances and provided two assists, including a right-footed ball to Cucho Hernandez, who headed it across the face of the goal to Christian Ramirez for the game-winning goal in the 115th minute of the Eastern Conference Final, propelling the Black & Gold to MLS Cup.

Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men’s Head coach Angus Eve says the opportunity still exists for players that were left out of the squad last year following their subpar Gold Cup showing, to make a return for the 2024 campaign.

Eve’s declaration came as he reflected on the Soca Warriors’ fairly successful 2023 outing in which they contested the Nations League A quarterfinals, and even registered a famous 2-1 second-leg victory over United States.

For that period, Eve opted for a squad without players such as former captain Kevin Molino, who after missing out, announced his retirement from the international game.

“The door is always open to the guys. I think some of them have served Trinidad tremendously through difficult times. I think sometimes people don’t know the struggles players go through and as a past player myself, I understand. I never want somebody to go out of the game feeling that they are dissatisfied, and we didn’t treat them right and didn’t give them a proper send-off,” Eve said during a recent interview with TTFA.

That said, Eve pointed out that age was and will never factor in the selection process, provided players performance are on par.

“I have no right to retire any player. The door is open to those guys once they continue to perform. I think age is not a factor. I just believe at that point in time we needed to clean up shop and we needed to get guys to buy back into the philosophy and what we were trying to do, and the project we were building,” he explained.

With the Copa America playoff against Canada to come in March, followed by 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers later in the year, Eve reiterated his openness to give players a shot to challenge for spots in his squad, but in the same breath, stressed the need for humility in their push for more success.

“Some players took it on their own to come out and say they are retired but I would say the door is not closed for the guys, and if they do get an opportunity, then they must conform to what the team wants to do. No one man is bigger than the team, not even me,” Eve noted.

“Nobody thought we would have been here. We are now in the last eight in Concacaf and fighting in the last four for a place in the Copa America,” he ended.

Veteran Soca Warriors midfielder, Kevin Molino, announced his retirement from the Trinidad & Tobago national team in a social media post on Friday.

The 33-year-old Molino, who currently plays for MLS outfit Columbus Crew, is the joint-second highest goal scorer with 23 goals in 59 appearances.

Molino reflected on the various stages of international football he played with the Soca Warriors.

“It has always been about passion and pride- from my first days with the U15 team, to being a part of a special group in the U17 World Cup & U20 World Cup,” said Molino in the social media post.

“Along the way, I’ve been able to make lifelong friends, face fierce rivals and lead the nation as captain of the senior team. Now, that dream has come to an end. It’s time to say goodbye for now. Thank you to all those who have supported me through the highs and lows-my family, teammates, fans and coaches across T&T. I cherish every moment, every memory and they will all live with me forever,” he added.

Molino, who has battled several injuries during the course of his career, captained the Soca Warriors at the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup. Molino started the first fixture vs St Kitts and Nevis as TT got their lone win in the group stage. He then featured from off the bench in a 4-1 defeat against Jamaica, before returning to the starting lineup for TT's 6-0 defeat to the United States.

Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake continues to be the best paid Caribbean player in the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) according to the 2022 Player Salary Guide.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper, who has twice been named Goalkeeper of the Year, remains the main man in between the sticks for the Philadelphia Union where he has been since 2014.  For his match-saving performances, Blake earns a base salary of $750,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $869,375.00.

Talented Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino is next up.  Having completed a move to Columbus Crew last season Molino is listed at $700,348.00 and guaranteed the full amount.  Unfortunately, the player remains out of action having suffered a serious knee ligament in August of last year.

His international teammate Joevin Jones was also on the move last year and having been signed by new club Inter Miami earns $360,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $458,100.00. 
Jamaica defender Kemar Lawrence is next on the list.  Having recently been traded to Minnesota United this season Lawrence is set to make $400,000.00 with $482,500.00 guaranteed.

The Jamaican trio of Cory Burke, Damion Lowe, and Alvas Powell round out the list earning 400,000, 268,000, and 167,000 at Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami, and FC Cincinnati.

French Guiana will be out to tame resurgent Trinidad and Tobago when the two sides meet in the Second Round of the 2021 Gold Cup Prelims on Tuesday at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The winner will advance to the Gold Cup group stage and slot into Group A along with Mexico, El Salvador and Curacao.

But first things first, a tricky test awaits for both sides.

Tuesday’s contest will mark French Guiana’s first match of the Prelims and their first official match since their group finale in League B of the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League, a 3-1 win over Saints Kitts and Nevis in November 2019.

Nevertheless, with a team boasting many European-based players, including forward Sloan Privat, who scored one of his country’s two goals in the 2017 Gold Cup, and defenders Kevin Rimane, formerly of Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, and Stade Brestois 29’s Ludovic Baal, plus Boulogne goalkeeper Simon Lugier, Les Yono Dokos have the pieces in place for a good performance.

While Trinidad and Tobago’s campaign in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying for Qatar 2022 ended in a disappointing fashion in the First Round, the Soca Warriors are enjoying a resurgence under Interim Head Coach Angus Eve.

Trinidad and Tobago returned to their high-flying ways in a 6-1 triumph over Montserrat in the First Round of the Prelims, with Kevin Molino, Marcus Joseph and Judah Garcia among the goal-scorers.

A win against French Guiana would provide a massive momentum boost going into the Gold Cup group stage.

Trinidad and Tobago Kevin Molino says playing with better quality players at Columbus Crew will help him raise his level of play as he eyes a successful career and a championship title with the 2020 Major League Soccer champions.

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