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Soccer
Grant Wahl
June 12, 2000
Strike Zone Cobi Jones has suddenly found his scoring touch for the U.S. team
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June 12, 2000

Soccer

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This much is clear to all: No import has had more impact on MLS this season than Molnar, whose eight goals in 10 games at week's end had propelled the league's most shocking turnaround. After starting last year 0-7 and finishing with MLS's second-worst record, the Wizards owned the league's best mark through Sunday, 10-1-2. They also were scoring 2.08 goals per game, which was tied for second-best in MLS, thanks largely to Molnar, a Copenhagen native with a shaved head who powers through opponents' penalty boxes like Yul Brynner strutting through a performance of The King and I. "At the end of last season we knew we needed a guy who went directly for the goal," says Gansler, "and he's not shy about pulling the trigger."

Molnar, 30, came recommended by Kansas City midfielder Chris Henderson, a friend from their days together in the mid-'90s with FSV Frankfurt in Germany, just one stop in Molnar's 11-year, seven-club, seven-nation career. "If you serve him the ball and he's on the run, he's going to first-time it and get it on frame," says Henderson. "He's got a unique volley. Most forwards hit the ball with their shoelaces, but Miklos hits it with the side of his foot and just pounds it on goal."

Molnar will miss most of June to play for Denmark in Euro 2000, joining the Metro-Stars' Lothar Matth�us as the only MLS representatives in the tournament. When he returns, he'll continue his quest for goals—and for snapshots of U.S. sights. While in Miami he visited South Beach, took a boat tour and drove to the Everglades in search of alligators. In New York City he checked out the observation deck of the Empire State Building. While in St. Louis for a preseason match he rode to the top of the Gateway Arch, and while in Denver he played Mork from Ork, exploring the mountains around nearby Boulder.

At the end of the season Molnar hopes to tour the country in what he calls "one of those big funny cars"—a 1950s Cadillac convertible with tail fins. "I found one that I liked, but oil was dripping from it," he says. "I don't want the guys to have to come pick me up on the highway every time I drive to training."

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