Gringo Report: Orozco Fiscal wants nat'l team spot back

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Back at San Luis, the club where he made his professional debut, former Philadelphia Union defender Michael Orozco Fiscal is determined to recapture the form which led to his first and only cap with the senior US men’s national team in 2008.

“I want to achieve some personal goals I have and one of those is to return to the national team,” the defender told the press after training in San Luis Potosí on Thursday.

“I had good times here,” added Orozco Fiscal. “It was here I got into the US national team and I hope to have the same good fortune.”

Orozco Fiscal was on loan to Philadelphia from San Luis during the 2010 season. He became a vital part of Peter Nowak’s defense and was widely praised for his performances during the Union’s inaugural year. A deal to extend Orozco Fiscal’s stay in Philly looked to be close this past winter, but it did not materialize and the Orange County, Calif., native returned to San Luis.

The veteran of the 2008 Summer Olympics believes his year in MLS could serve him well on his return to the Mexican league, where he made his pro debut back in the Apertura 2006.

“I think the rhythm of the game here has more quality,” Orozco Fiscal said. “[In the US], it is physical, with more collisions and contact. I think I can combine the two — take the best bits I learned there and put them in practice here.”

San Luis missed out on the playoffs on the last day of the Clausura 2011 regular season; the primary objective is to reach Mexico's “Fiesta Grande” this time around.

“I hope to play my part and to obtain the goal the team has of qualifying for the playoffs,” said Orozco Fiscal.

Now 25, Orozco Fiscal was a key part of the US squad — coached by Nowak — that competed in the ’08 Beijing Games. But he is best remembered for his red card against Nigeria that left the Americans down a man for most of their group-stage finale, which they lost and failed to advance.

He made his debut for the senior team two months later in a World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago but hasn’t been recalled to the US set-up since.

Orozco Fiscal should see minutes back at San Luis. Head coach Ignacio Ambríz started him in defense for the team's second warm-up game on Wednesday against Querétaro. Los Gladiadores, who have never won a league championship, will participate in a quadrangular tournament in Tijuana between July 6 and 9, playing hosts Xolos as well as DaMarcus Beasley's Puebla and Monterrey.

San Luis open their Apertura 2011 campaign with a tricky trip to reigning champions Pumas UNAM on July 24.