Philadelphia Union has acquired defender Michael Orozco on loan from Mexican team San Luis FC, the team confirmed today.
Orozco, who played for the U.S. Olympic team in 2008, moves to Philadelphia courtesy of a deal between the Union and the New York Red Bulls, who had first crack at Orozco. New York gave the Union the top spot in the allocation order for claiming U.S. national team members moving to MLS. In exchange, Philadelphia gave up an undisclosed amount of allocation money. It’s unclear whether the Red Bulls will also get the Union’s slot in the allocation order.
Orozco played for Union manager Peter Nowak at the Olympics, so the two are familiar with each other. He is 23 years old and has historically played left back and center back.
“We hope to have him as an anchor at the back of our defense for a long time to come,” Nowak said.
Orozco had been starting for San Luis until shortly before gaining a release for a move to the Union earlier this month.
The trade creates some depth and could set up a trade. Philadelphia has Shavar Thomas and Danny Califf at center back, both of whom have started for MLS clubs, as well as left back Jordan Harvey, who started for Colorado last season. Alternately, one of them could move to the right back slot, at which there is no clear starter – at least if Nowak goes with a four-man back line.
Nowak typically has favored a 3-5-2 formation, and with the versatility to slide between center and left back in a four-man back line, Orozco could be the perfect left back in a three-man defense. With the Union roster not yet filled out, we’re still seeing what kind of personnel Nowak will have at hand.
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