CHESTER, Pa. – Danny Califf wants to stay with the Union long-term, even though it’s been a tough first year on the field in Philadelphia.
The former Danish Superliga pro joined Philadelphia after four years in Europe before this season, and said last week that he has taken great pride in leading the franchise during the first year of existence.
“Having the privilege of being the captain has been a tremendous responsibility and it’s been something that’s been really close to my heart,” Califf said. “For me, it’s an extra incentive to really try and do whatever I can to help us be successful. Not only on the field but in the team and in the community to help us get roots.
"If we can just continue and do a few things better, we can really make this into the best franchise in the league. I certainly believe that that can happen and I’m stoked to be a part of it.”
Despite a 5-11-6 record and a seventh-place spot in the Eastern Conference, Califf said not all is bad for the fledgling Union. They face Chicago at home on Saturday.
“I think we’ve learned a lot,” Califf said. “We’ve developed a style of play and we’ve been true to that throughout the entire season. We’ve had a lot of opportunities and made a lot of mistakes, but I think that on the one hand it’s been disappointing because the mistakes a lot of the time are individual mistakes and were preventable.”
“It’s also a good learning experience to have those mistakes happen early in the history of our club and early in the year,” Califf added. “They are things that can be ironed out and it’s good for us going forward.”
Through the club's 22 games this season, this experience has become much more than a paycheck for Califf, who says he really has connected with the city, the fans and the team so much so that his family is considering a permanent move.
“It’s been fantastic,” Califf said. “The club has been fantastic, and the city has been amazing. My family really enjoys it. My wife is already talking about wanting to stay here permanently. I told her to relax and that we should have a winter here first before she decides on that.”
“That’s what I mean though, everything is going really well, certainly off the field, so that makes it a bit easier to swallow when things aren’t going as well on the field.”