[MLS] On Wednesday, Philadelphia Union coach Peter Nowak discussed why defender Michael Orozco Fiscal is no longer a member of the team. Sort of.
Of the many changes made by Philadelphia since it finished 8-15-7 and allowed 49 goals (tied for second-most in MLS) as an expansion team, the addition of striker Carlos Ruiz and jettisoning of Orozco Fiscal are among the most significant. During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Nowak talked about Orozco Fiscal without providing too much background.
“Michael Orozco Fiscal was on a one-year loan with an option to buy,” said Nowak from Crete, where the Union is training until March 10. “We didn’t exercise the option on his contract, so basically since January 1st he is property of his former club, not the property of Philadelphia Union or Major League Soccer.”
The situation would have been as cut-and-dried as Nowak outlines it had not Orozco Fiscal brought up the subject of his status during the offseason and trained with the team during preseason. He came to MLS last year on loan from Mexican club San Luis and played 29 matches, and likely would have been shifted to outside back or battled for playing time in the middle with Califf and Carlos Valdes, who was acquired in January.
“Since January 1st, Michael Orozco Fiscal is property of his former club, which is San Luis in Mexico,” said Nowak. “That’s the whole explanation.”
Left unanswered were questions regarding why assistant coach John Hackworth said at the start of preseason only a few details needed to be addressed to retain the defender’s rights.
Apparently, those discussions/negotiations came apart at some point. A week ago, the team released defender Christian Arrieta, who has since traveled to Arizona for a one-week trial with FC Dallas, and in mid-February it cut loose Eduardo Coudet. The league roster-compliance date of March 1 (Tuesday) also played a role, though Philly has just five defenders: Valdes, Califf, Jordan Harvey, Sheanon Williams and Juan Diego Gonzalez Alzate.
“If you know from the beginning that it was a one-year loan, end of story,” said Nowak, who thus ended the situation without actually explaining it. “He’s back in Mexico and the stuff is already done. For me and for our staff, it’s a very simple situation and we need to move forward with that.”
Nowak has been auditioning players throughout preseason and will look at a few more during the camp in Crete.
Philly started its run of games by tying Greek first division club Ergotelis, 1-1, Monday with a goal by Ruiz, and beat Hersonissos FC of the third division, 5-0, Wednesday. Chris Agorsor and Jack McInerney each scored twice and Danny Mwanga added the fifth goal.