Omar Gonzalez' Injury Opens Up Good Experience Opportunity for Michael Orozco
Michael Orozco is getting another chance.
With Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez nursing a hip injury, United States Men's National Team manager Jurgen Klinsmann elected the 27-year-old Orozco to take his place for the side's final two World Cup qualifiers.
The team's official Twitter feed announced the news:
Many will see Orozco's name and instantly cringe.
The Puebla F.C. defender has made just one hexagonal appearance for the USMNT in his career—and it was a nightmarish one that most supporters are still trying to forget.
In a head-scratching decision, Klinsmann put Orozco at right-back—his first-ever national team appearance at the position—for a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica back in September, and it went just about as poorly as possible.
Orozco was overwhelmed defensively and made very little noticeable impact moving forward, turning in a dreadful overall performance as the Americans fell, 3-1, at Estadio Nacional in an embarrassing defeat that ended a 12-match winning streak.
So, yeah, it's safe to say the thought of calling up Orozco doesn't exactly help instill confidence in The Stars and Stripes' already-inconsistent back line.
Nevertheless, as ESPN's Tom Marshall pointed out a couple of days ago, Orozco has been playing well in Mexico:
Bit surprised that Michael Orozco Fiscal isn't in the US squad. He's been quietly having a very good season in a variety of positions.— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) October 6, 2013
It's understandable if you don't trust Orozco right now, but it's also far too early to jump ship. He was out of position—and hardly the only one who played bad—against Costa Rica, and the Americans are in need of depth on the back line.
Did Klinsmann make the right decision
With very little importance on these final two qualifying matches—team USA has already qualified for Brazil—Klinsmann has the perfect opportunity to give him one more chance.
They are bigger than the friendlies and Gold Cup caps that Orozco has already tallied, but they aren't so crucial that the German manager has to avoid fringe players.
Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron will likely slot into the two central defender roles, but Orozco deserves at least a look in his more natural center-back position.
In a low-risk, no-pressure situation, there's no reason not to give him a shot.
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