Is the Crew parting ways with a veteran player?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Have the Crew and Kevin Molino decided to part ways? Speculation began on Molino’s status with the club on Wednesday when the Crew released its roster for the Concacaf Champions Cup and the veteran midfielder was not on it. Rumors began circulating that he has not been in training camp with the team. Brianna Mac Kay of the Columbus Dispatch has since confirmed that rumor and reported via social media that the Crew and Molino have mutually agreed he would be absent from camp. No reason has been given for the absence.

So, what exactly does this mean? Is Molino just sitting out camp? Have he and the Crew decided to part ways? At age 33, is the nine-year MLS veteran contemplating retirement? Obviously, there are far more questions than answers at this time.

Molino, who played just 55 minutes last year in the regular season, drew the ire of Crew fans with two bad fouls that led to goals in late-season games. Head coach Wilfried Nancy did not give up on him and Molino saw action in five of the club’s six playoff games. His perfect pass to Cucho to help set up Christian Ramirez’s game-winning goal against FC Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference final is one of the most memorable moments of 2023. He also had an assist in the conference semifinal against Orlando City.

While he hardly can be considered a key contributor, Molino adds a veteran presence to a young team-something that is very underrated. With the new additions the club has brought in, like Derrick Jones, I can see that 55 minutes Molino played last year diminishing this season. If I say I won’t be surprised if he does not come back to the club, I don’t think I’m going out on much of a limb.