It's official: Danny Califf is headed back home.
A day after Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak indicated that the club was working on a trade with Chivas USA involving Califf, both clubs confirmed the deal on Thursday that sends the Philadelphia captain to the Goats in exchange for midfielder Michael Lahoud. Philadelphia also receive allocation money in the deal.
The Union's captain was born in California and played his first six MLS seasons in the state with the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes before heading to Europe. He returned to MLS in 2010 for Philadelphia's expansion season and has served as the club captain. He's only seen action in four matches due to hamstring problems.
"I want to take this opportunity to give my sincerest thanks to all our fans, the city of Philadelphia and all of my teammates that I have played with,” Califf said in a statement. “You have opened your heart and welcomed this California kid like just another one of yous guys!!"
A 2009 SuperDraft pick by Chivas USA, Lahoud moves closer to home in the trade. Born in Sierra Leone, the 25-year-old grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and went to school in Fairfax, Va. Hamstring issues have limited his playing time in 2012 to just two matches played earlier this month.
The trade is the second of the day for Chivas USA, who also acquired US rising star Juan Agudelo from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for defender Heath Pearce. Califf would presumably fill the hole left by Pearce, who started all 10 matches for the Goats at both central defense and fullback.
The Union continue to stock up on young talent by swapping a 32-year-old for the 25-year-old Lahoud, who is expected to be used at right wing or right back but has also been employed in central midfield in the past.
"We want to thank Danny Califf for his contributions to the Union on and off the field and wish him well in his career,” Nowak said in a statement. “In Michael Lahoud, we are getting another young versatile player who we believe will have an opportunity to establish himself as a Union player while helping us achieve our goals throughout the season.”
Both clubs, who find themselves second from bottom in their respective conferences, are not scheduled to meet again this year after the 1-0 win by Philadelphia at The Home Depot Center on April 21.