At the start of preseason, Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth said a deal to bring back defender Michael Orozco Fiscal for the 2011 campaign was close to being finalized.
A few days later, Orozco Fiscal – who came to the Union last season on a one-year loan from the Mexican club San Luis – agreed that only a couple of small details were standing in the way of a new MLS contract and that he hoped to remain in Philly on a more permanent basis.
But on Wednesday, 17 days before their ’11 season begins, Union manager Peter Nowak informed reporters that Orozco Fiscal is no longer a member of the team or the league.
Despite spending much of the preseason training with Philly, the Mexican-American defender is currently back with San Luis.
“If you know from the beginning that it was a one-year loan, (that’s the) end of story,” Nowak said in a conference call. “He’s back in Mexico and the stuff is already done. For me and our staff, it’s a very simple situation and we need to move forward with that.”
Orozco Fiscal was a vital part of the team in 2010, starting 29 games and logging more minutes than anyone on the team except fellow defender Jordan Harvey. The defense improved significantly when Orozco Fiscal moved to center back for the final eight games of the year.
Nowak did not specify why terms couldn’t be reached.
“Michael Orozco Fiscal was on a one-year loan with an option to buy,” the Union manager explained. “We didn’t exercise the option of his contract, so basically since January 1, he is the property of his former club, not the property of Philadelphia Union or Major League Soccer.”
Had Orozco Fiscal stayed in Philly, he likely would have shifted from center back to left back to make room for Colombian international Carlos Valdés, who signed with the Union in January.
As it stands right now, the Union have only five defenders on their 22-man roster – Valdés, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey, Sheanon Williams and Juan Diego González Alzate.