Kevin Molino - Minnesota United - goal celebration

Playing in his contract year, Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino has certainly shown his worth in 2020.


The 30-year-old logged a standout campaign for the Loons, who are in the midst of their best MLS season coming off their first-ever playoff win in a 3-0 Round One triumph over the Colorado Rapids on Sunday.


Molino was a key cog in making that happen, scoring twice against the Rapids and posting nine goals and four assists in 18 games (15 starts) across 1,264 minutes. Making it all the more impressive, Molino put up those numbers as he continued to work his way back into the fold coming off the second ACL tear of his career, which kept him out of action from March 2018 to April 2019. He finished second to LAFC's Bradley Wright-Phillips for the 2020 MLS Comeback Player of the Year.


Watch: Kevin Molino opens the scoring against Colorado

Taking all that into account, Minnesota coach Adrian Heath said after Sunday's match that his hope is Molino will be returning, and he feels good about where contract negotiations are heading.


“Well, you’re never 100 percent, when players are in the final year," Heath said. "We’ve sort of left the discussions with him. I think we’re very, very close and hopefully we can get to the stage where he signs a new deal and he stays here.”


Molino and Heath have a long history, dating back to their days with Orlando City SC. Molino joined Minnesota ahead of its 2017 expansion season and has 14 goals and nine assists overall in 37 games.


The Loons will hope to continue their playoff run in the Western Conference Semifinals, where the win over the Rapids has them set up with a matchup against No. 1 seed Sporting Kansas City