According to Orlando Sentinel reporter Alicia DelGallo, Orlando City has agreed to trade forward Kevin Molino to MLS newcomers Minnesota United in exchange for an whopping $650,000 of allocation money. The report was corroborated by FourFourTwo writer Paul Tenorio, formerly of the Orlando Sentinel.
This news comes just days after General Manager Niki Budalic, in the wake of a Goal.com report saying Minnesota United had made a bid for the 26-year-old, told reporters that they were not “actively shopping” Molino.
Molino will join up with his former coach at Orlando City, Adrian Heath. The deal also includes goalkeeper Patrick McLain, who moves with Molino to Minnesota United just a month after being selected by OCSC in the Re-Entry draft.
The chunk of allocation money – split up between $400,000 of General Allocation Money and $250,000 of Targeted Allocation Money – can be used to buy down contracts that exceed the salary cap, allowing teams to sign players on Designated Player-sized contracts but not use a Designated Player spot, or to buy down other contracts to shrink their salary cap hit. Orlando City currently has all three Designated Player slots used up with Kaka, Carlos Rivas, and Bryan Rochez.
Molino has been with Orlando City since they were founded in 2011 in the USL Pro. Last season, Molino scored 11 goals in 29 appearances, while assisting eight others. The Goal.com report from last week indicates that Molino was looking for a raise commiserate with his increase in production, and could be part of the reason Orlando City was convinced to move him after receiving such a sizeable bid.
Molino was in the news recently after he was called up by Trinidad & Tobago for Gold Cup qualifiers, but did not show up for training, and T&T coach Tom Saintfiet confirmed that Molino effectively declined his call-up with his absence, along with Seattle defender Joevin Jones.