Emilio Orozco, born April 29th, 1992, in Oxnard, California, will be entering his third year with Real Monarchs SLC in 2017. Before joining with the Monarchs, he spent two years with the Mexican Primera División side Tigres de la UANL, including going on loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, with Daryl Shore as his coach, for the entire 2012 season During his time with the Strikers he played mainly on the attacking side. After his release by Tigres, Emilio tried out for and signed with Chivas USA for the 2013 MLS season but made only two 90 minute appearances in the midfield with the reserve team. He spent 2014 out of professional soccer.
Emilio joined the Real Monarchs 2015 preseason camp and after signing on March 24th, 2015, went on to make 21 appearances with 18 starts during the Monarchs debut season wearing #12. Although Orozco initially spent some time in the midfield he quickly became a fixture in the defensive side of the ball playing centrally alongside Phanuel Kavita, Lennon Celestino, and Darian Copeland and at left back. Late in the Monarchs 2015 season Emilio made a number of appearances at defensive midfield alongside Pecka.
Returning for the Monarchs second season in 2016, Emilio became even more entrenched at center back being partnered at times by Justin Glad, Darian Copeland, Chris Schuler, Phanuel Kavita and Danilo Acosta. Early in the season Orozco was signed to a short-term contract with Real Salt Lake for coverage during the Sporting Kansas City game and later again for the friendly with FC Internazionale Milano. In total he made 22 appearances with 20 starts and 18 complete games for the Real Monarchs SLC before going out injured early in the game with the Orange City Blues and missing the final three games of the season. Emilio also had his first goal as a Monarch in the 1-0 victory over the Swope Park Rangers at Rio Tinto Stadium on August 13th when he made a nice run on the rebound from a free kick outside the box and buried a precision strike from about 4 yards out.
During the 2017 season it is reasonable to expect that Orozco will once again play major minutes anchoring the defense along with Max Lachowecki. Even though Emilio is on the small side for a modern central defender, he has proven to be steady, reliable and capable of being the organizer on a back line at the USL level. The recent signing of James Moberg, another veteran of the Monarchs 2016 squad, could lead to a regular Moberg-Orozco pairing at center back for the Monarchs.
Moberg’s experience last season at center back for the Monarchs could be important if Phanuel Kavita is not resigned or if Kavita and Danilo Acosta get regular minutes for the senior team. Justen Glad and Acosta may also miss significant time with the US Under-20 team if they make the squad for the CONCACAF Championship running from 17 February to 5 March in Costa Rica and, if the squad goes on, the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea from 20 May to 11 June.