Union's Orozco adjusting
Things are moving quickly for Union defender Michael Orozco. The 2008 U.S. Olympian became a member of the Union on Friday and took part in his first MLS workout Tuesday, when the team began training at the Bryan Park Soccer Complex in Browns Summit, N.C.
Things are moving quickly for Union defender Michael Orozco. The 2008 U.S. Olympian became a member of the Union on Friday and took part in his first MLS workout yesterday, when the team began training at the Bryan Park Soccer Complex in Browns Summit, N.C.
Orozco, 23, is on loan from San Luis FC of the Mexican First Division, for which he has played the last three years.
"Everything is moving quickly, and now I'm adjusting to the team, the weather, and I am anxious to get going," Orozco said last night in a phone interview from camp.
By the time the Union open their inaugural season March 25 in Seattle, few will have trained more than Orozco. He said he spent a month of preseason training with San Luis and left the team right before its first game.
"Our preseason is kind of long, and I just had a preseason that was a month long, with three-a-days," he said.
Still, Orozco, who played on the U.S. Olympic team for Union team manager Peter Nowak, is happy to begin this new phase of his soccer career.
"I'm really excited coming back to the States and playing with a new team and knowing that Peter has a good team," he said. "I think I can help, especially with my experience in Mexico."
One adjustment is getting acclimated to the weather.
"It felt like 30 degrees today," he said from North Carolina. "I'm hoping it warms up soon."
Season schedules. The MLS will release its entire schedule at 2 p.m. today. At this point, the Union have only their first three dates of the 30-game schedule. In addition to the March 25 opener in Seattle, the Union will play D.C. United in their home opener April 10 at Lincoln Financial Field and will visit Toronto FC on April 15. That will be Toronto's home opener.
WPS dates. Women's Professional Soccer still hasn't announced team schedules other than home openers, but the league said yesterday it will expand the regular season to 24 games from 20.
The eight teams will play each other either three or four times. The Independence open their inaugural season April 11 at West Chester University against the Atlanta Beat, a fellow expansion team. On April 18, the Independence will visit Boston for the Breakers' home opener.
Training camp begins March 7. The WPS All-Star Game will be June 30, with the location and format to be announced at a later date. The regular season ends Sept. 12.
Four of the eight teams will make the playoffs. The No. 3 team will play the No. 4 seed, with the winner facing the No. 2 seed in the Super Semifinal. The top-seeded team will host the Super Semifinal winner in the championship game Sunday, Sept. 26.
The full WPS schedule will be released later this month.