Michael Orozco is set to play his 400th professional game in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Orange County SC)

Former U.S. international defender Michael Orozco will return to Orange County SC for his fourth USL Championship season.

His return is pending league and U.S. Soccer Federation approval.

Orozco, captained the team to the league title last year.

Per club policy, terms of player contracts with Orange County SC were not released.

Orozco, who turns 36 on Feb. 7, is set to play in his 400th career professional match during this season.

“I’m proud to be back with Orange County to defend our title,” Orozco said in a statement. “New season, new goals. I’m excited to see more fans come to support. Together we will be stronger.”

Last season, Orozco started every match through the final totaling 3,297 minutes while only missing onlyy nine minutes of game time. As one of the central figures in OCSC’s strong backline, Orozco contributed to 81 clearances and 52 interceptions while recording two assists. He also scored his first goal in two seasons with a header in late September against Oakland Roots SC at Championship Soccer Stadium.

“We are very excited to have Michael, our captain back for more,” president of soccer operations Oliver Wyss said in a statement. “Michael is a true champion and his leadership on the field and his mentorship of our younger players is an invaluable asset for our club.”

Since coming home to Orange County in 2019, Orozco has amassed 69 appearances, all as a starter. He has played 6,266 minutes since then. In 2022, Orozco is expected to move into top position for most minutes, appearances and starts for the club all-time. During his Orange County SC tenurre, has scored three goals and five assists.

“I am delighted to have our captain back with us for another season,” head coach Richard Chaplow said in a statement. “From the day Michael walked in, his performance level has been consistently high. It is coupled with the leadership qualities he possesses which makes him such a vital component for us.”

This will be Orozco’s 15th professional season in his career that has spanned the top leagues of Mexico and the United States. Orozco began his professional career with San Luis FC in Liga MX after playing youth soccer in Orange County. He also performed for Puebla FC and Club Tijuana as well as MLS side Philadelphia Union during a season-long loan. Orozco also earned 29 caps for the U.S. nen’s national team and three appearances for the U.S. during the 2008 Summer Olympics.