Tijuana (Primera Division)
#16 | Defender
February 7, 1986 (Age: 30)
5' 11", 165 lbs (1.8 m, 75 kg)
Michael Orozco came through the youth program of Mexican Primera A team San Luis. He made his first appearance for the full team in the fall of 2006, against Tigres, and was promptly sent off after three minutes. Orozco appeared intermittently throughout the 2007 and 2008 campaigns, before nailing down a starting job in the center of the San Luis defense at the end of the Apertura 2008.
Orozco went on loan to the Philadelphia Union in 2010 during the club's inaugural season. At the end of the season, the Union chose not to exercise their option to buy out his contract and Orozco returned to San Luis.
The defender returned to San Luis' starting lineup at the beginning of the 2011-12 season. However, he fell out of favor again during the 2012 Apertura and was loaned to Puebla for the 2013 Clausura.
Orozco was first called into the U-23 side by coach Peter Nowak in the spring of 2008 in preparation for the qualification tournament for the Beijing Olympics. The California native played a central part in the qualification process, playing every minute of the five game tournament in defense, and earned all-tournament honors, but was responsible for the defensive lapse that cost the US the title game against Honduras.
Orozco played all three group games of the Olympic Tournament, filling in at left back admirably against Japan and Holland, before being sent off in the decisive game against Nigeria after only three minutes for an intentional elbow. The error left the Americans short handed for the entire match, and helped lead to elimination.
Orozco earned his first full international cap soon afterward. With the US already through to the next round, Orozco was called in by Bob Bradley for a pair of inconsequential qualifiers late in the semi-final round of qualification for the 2010 World Cup. He played in a 2-1 loss away to Trinidad and Tobago.
Orozco would not appear again for the US under Bob Bradley, but was called in immediately by Jurgen Klinsmann. He emerged as an unlikely hero when he scored the winning goal in the historic victory over Mexico in Estadio Azteca.