Kevin Molino goal celebration

In the Moment: Kevin Molino

A lot goes down on the pitch in any given match. For In the Moment, we talk to a player about a specific play from last week’s match, letting them give an inside view of the play as it developed.

Since going down with a season-ending injury on March 10 last year, midfielder Kevin Molino has been steadily working his way back to the pitch. Against the Philadelphia Union last Sunday, Molino showed he’s ready to be dangerous again, coming in off the bench in the 69th minute and combining with fellow sub Abu Danladi to score an equalizing goal in the 77th minute.

Kevin Molino: We had 20-some chances at goal and you know, first coming on, my mindset was to change the game. We needed energy and I think me and Abu [Danladi] do that. But at this point in time, I think that every time we get the ball, Romain crossed and we didn’t have numbers in good spots in the box. When I see Abu get the ball, I was like, in this situation, as a defender, I’m going to block the first post. So, I always pick up these spots [between the lines] where [Abu] could cut back the ball because all of the defenders rush to help the keeper in that instance, you know.

These are the areas that I pick up, here, or even on the D [at the top of the box] as the areas that I think are key to cross the ball. A natural defender is going to block the first post cross and the cut back is the cross that will work in that instance, especially when the ball is on the byline.

This was good IQ from [Abu], looking at the line and he was in [a] good position to see the whole line. He’s fast, so he can get there. This was more important than the goal.

It’s impossible for the defensive midfielder. Even if he [would have] come to me, there would be somebody else free. Jan or Miggy is going to be free if he comes to me. So it’s a good spot in that instance because they think Romain is going to cross because that is [his game]. We switched it up and gave it to Abu and I ended up picking up a good spot where the defender didn’t really know what to do in that instance.

I was just trying to put it on target. Anything can happen once it’s on target, even if he saves it, it can go to Angelo and Angelo [can] score but the main thing is putting it on target. The first touch is key, with the goal or with anything in football, your first touch is important. My first touch [here], set me up to score the goal because if I didn’t take the touch for the ball to raise [up], he would have blocked the ball.

So the touch raised [the ball], so it went a little bit over the outside of his foot because of the touch. If I would have taken a different touch on the ground, I was so close to him, he would’ve blocked it. It goes right over his leg. If you look at it, he is defending the post, his leg is in line with the post, it’s impossible [to score without touching the ball off the ground]. So, the touch made the goal.