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Jonathan Orozco dedicated and confident in Los Guerreros

27 de Septiembre del 2017 1:19 pm.

Los Guerreros traveled four hours east to the state of Nuevo Leon on Tuesday, where they'll face northern-Mexico rival Monterrey for week 10 in Liga MX. 

Currently leading the league in the table, offense and defense, Monterrey will be the perfect test for Santos says goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco, who made his professional debut with Los Rayados and spent 11 years of his professional career between the goalposts with the Nuevo Leon-based team from 2005 until 2016. 

"I think for the team, this game against Rayados is a good test," he told media after training on Tuesday afternoon. 

"It's an important match for the fans and with a win, getting a good result would mean a huge mental boost for the team, taking the pressure off with a good result. And what better way to do that than with a win against the direct rival of our people in our region against a team like Rayados." 

Wednesday's game will be "Jona's" first game in Estadio BBVA Bancomer in a rival jersey. 

A Monterrey native, Orozco made his debut with Rayados in 2005 and remained a key figure with the team until 2016 when he joined los Guerreros.

During his career with Monterrey he won two league titles, one Interliga title, and three international CONCACAF Champions League titles - two of which were obtained by defeating Santos in a home-and-away final series. He was voted best goalkeeper twice during his career in 2009 and 2011 and won three with Mexico while representing his hometown team. 

On returning to Monterrey representing a rival team, Orozco shared that, of course, he feels after having dedicated a major part of his professional career to los Rayados. 

"I lived there for a long time," he said.  "I experienced everything." 

On the other hand, as he's proven on and off the field, Orozco is a professional, and declared wholeheartedly that he is focused on one thing: defending the colors of Santos Laguna.

"It's a very special match for me but right now, the most important thing for me is that my Santos team adds three points and gets out of this bad streak. To get back on track on a positive note that leads us to qualification and move further away from the bottom (of the table).

"I'm a professional regardless of what my past has been," he added. "For me the most important thing today is Santos, and I'm not thinking of anything else but to help reverse the situation together with my colleagues. And to the people of Monterrey: I have been and will always be very grateful for the affection they have shown me in the time that I was there. I will always remember them in a very pleasant way." 

When asked if Santos vs. this current first place Monterrey team is akin to "David vs. Goliath," Orozco affirmed that Los Guerreros are well-equipped. 

"Santos has a great squad," he said. "It has great players with great reputation, a lot of quality in the young players who are pushing very hard. I think we are not very far away of what could be Monterrey, it's just that the results have not been favorable towards us. We've had games in the past like that vs. Cruz Azul,  where we were winning 1 to 0 and the circumstances ended up being the reason we lost. 

"For me, the fact that we play against Monterrey, against the team that is a leader and that is strong at home, assures me that if the team plays the way Robert wants, if the team does what it needs to do, we will take advantage of the virtues and defects of the rival team." 

Santos vs. Monterrey kicks off at 9:00 pm local time (10:00 pm EST).