CHESTER, Pa. – Danny Califf is going home.
At his midweek press conference Wednesday, Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak revealed the Union have accepted a deal to send Califf to Chivas USA for “another player and something else.”
Since the deal has not yet officially been announced, Nowak stopped short of saying what the Union will get in return but he did note that Califf is the only Union player involved in the deal.
Califf, the Union's captain and a native of Southern California, was not available for comment.
“I think from his perspective, after traveling around the world and being in Denmark and coming here, at some point he mentioned to me that it’s going to be time to go home with his family and go back to California,” Nowak said. “This will happen sooner or later. After our talks [with Chivas] we decided to conclude this trade. That’s the situation right now.”
Nowak, who first revealed the possibility of a Califf trade after Sunday’s loss to the Red Bulls, reiterated that the club was not looking to deal their captain and only became interested when they were presented with an intriguing offer last week “out of the blue.” Since then, Nowak said another team made a separate offer for Califf but the Union technical staff deemed the first one – from Chivas – to be better for both them and Califf.
Califf – a Union original who was popular among teammates and fans – will certainly be missed in Philly, but Nowak noted the emergence of defenders Ray Gaddis and Sheanon Williams and the leadership of Brian Carroll and Carlos Valdés allowed the club to have the flexibility to make this deal. The manager said Valdes, Carroll and Williams will be next in line to wear the captain’s armband following the trade.
“In this business, it’s never easy to say goodbye,” Nowak said. “You don’t enjoy this kind of stuff.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.