CHESTER, Pa. – Danny Califf is still a member of the Philadelphia Union … for now.
Shortly after the Union’s 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls at PPL Park on Sunday, Union manager Peter Nowak addressed the rumors that the Philly captain will be traded.
In his postgame press conference, Nowak admitted there is an offer on the table that the club is currently contemplating. Minutes later, Union sporting director Diego Gutiérrez said the same thing, making sure to stress that there’s nothing official to report.
“We’re considering something but as of now we don’t have an agreement,” Gutiérrez told MLSsoccer.com. “Danny Califf is a Union player.”
Neither Nowak or Gutiérrez said what the deal entails or who the interested party is, but reports have linked the Union center back to Chivas USA, which plays right near Califf’s hometown.
HIGHLIGHTS: PHI 2, NY 3
According to Nowak, Califf did not play in Sunday’s game because of a hamstring injury that’s been lingering through much of the season.
Califf, who didn’t even make the matchday roster, was not in the locker room following Sunday’s game. He’s missed five of the nine games this season due to injury or recovery and admitted recently that it’s been a “tough year” for him.
Still, at least one other team appears to be interested in the 32-year-old defensive stalwart, who played for the US national team and in Europe before signing with the Union before their inaugural 2010 season.
“It happens pretty much every day where teams call for guys,” Gutiérrez said. “We’re a squad that had a good mix of experience and youth. We have a lot of quality in the locker room, so it’s natural other teams are interested.”
According to Nowak and Gutiérrez, they informed Califf of the offer shortly after they received it. Both said it was important to be up-front and courteous with their captain, even if they do end up shipping him out of town.
“We informed the player right after [the offer] happened,” the Union manager said. “We talked to Danny twice about that.”
If Califf does get traded, it would mark the further disintegration of the Union’s inaugural-season roster. Sébastien Le Toux, the team’s leading scorer over the past two seasons, was the last member of the Union’s expansion draft class remaining in Philly, before the high-scoring striker was dealt to Vancouver in the offseason.
In 2010 and 2011, Califf and Le Toux played in almost every game together for the Union.
“I will say Danny’s been fantastic here,” Gutiérrez said. “To this day, he continues to be that way. He’s been a tremendous leader, a tremendous performer for this club. Whether he’s here tomorrow or not – my guess is he will be – he’ll always be appreciated and respected around here.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.