When they take on Columbus Crew SC in the Knockout Stage of the MLS is Back Tournament on Tuesday (8 pm ET | ESPN; ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada), Minnesota United look set to be boosted by the return of key midfielder Kevin Molino.
The 30-year-old was subbed off in Minnesota's 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake in group play with a hamstring injury, and was held out of their last match against the Colorado Rapids with the knock. But speaking with reporters on a Sunday conference call, Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath said Molino has been on the mend and on track to feature against Columbus.
"[Molino] trained today, barring any sort of reaction to what he did today he'll train tomorrow and he should be available for the game on Tuesday," said Heath.
If you need any evidence of the type of impact Molino can have on a game, look no further than earlier in the tournament, when he scored a stoppage-time winner against Sporting Kansas City on July 12.
"On the field, Kevin's a really dynamic player," Minnesota midfielder
said of Molino's potential return on Sunday. "A guy that, it's maybe a short time, he's only been in MLS since 2015, but he's been around the professional game for a lot longer. He's always a very impactful player. It maybe doesn't always show up on the scoresheet, whether it be goals or assists, but he has an ability to make an impact, he has the ability to attract, one, two, three players around him and then to wiggle out of those situations.
"So, a very, very talented player, a guy that's played the 10 in a league where that position is usually one of the highest-paid players in the league, a very high-priced player, he's done a really nice job for us the last couple years."