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Rumor: Danny Califf traded to Chivas USA

Photo: Earl Gardner

Danny Califf may be on his way to Chivas USA.

Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak said Sunday the club had received a trade offer for Califf and informed Califf, but Union sporting director Diego Gutierrez said no deal has been finalized.

A Chivas USA spokesman said by telephone earlier Sunday afternoon that he had heard nothing of a trade, though the southern California club is rumored to be the destination.

“As far as I know, it’s just a rumor,” said Rodrigo Ochoa, public relations manager for Chivas USA.

Califf was not in uniform Sunday for the match against the New York Red Bulls after appearing on the league injury report as questionable with a strained hamstring.

Califf is a Union original and the team’s captain, having signed with the team before the 2010 season after spending parts of five seasons in Denmark. He has appeared in 65 regular season games for the Union, scoring one goal. Califf first broke into MLS in 2000 with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Word began to spread Saturday of a potential trade, which was the subject of a great deal of talk among fans at Sunday afternoon’s match against the New York Red Bulls.

Speculation has abounded that a Califf trade would happen since March, when Nowak held Califf out of a game because of what Nowak said was an injury. Califf’s told the Delaware County Times he had no clue why he was sitting, saying, “I guess I found out. Supposedly I have a knee injury.” Should a trade be finalized, Califf would be the latest team leader and fan favorite to be dealt in the last several months, following striker Sebastien Le Toux out the door.

There is no indication as of yet what the Union would receive in exchange for Califf, who grew up in southern California. The Union have only one other true center back, Carlos Valdes, on their roster.

Philly Soccer Page writers Eli Pearlman-Storch, Adam Cann, and Ed Farnsworth contributed to this report.


  1. It all depends on what we get, and if Nowak actually has a backup plan.

    • Let’s get rid of the real problem and fire Nowak!

      • Seriously! We have Ramon Gaddis (with all due respect to the new guy) starting in defense consistently now, and let’s get rid of our captain and starting center-half. As soon as the dreams of Raul fade away, now we need to dream about Nesta. How can a club be run like this?

  2. MikeRSoccer says:

    The only thing that will make this trade acceptable to me is if Alessandro Nesta’s final game for Milan today is more than coincidental. But, since this is a Nowak move we will probably get an undisclosed amount of allocation funds. Fantastic game by the boys today and Nowaks line up was great for once. That referee was either paid in energy drinks or is simply blind..

    • Adam Cann says:

      If they bring in Nesta they’ll also have to bring in the guy who is going to play during the 2/3 of each season that Nesta is out injured.

      • MikeRSoccer says:

        Haha. Good point. He had a relatively full season of play this year and at this point I would rather have Nesta play 2/3 of the season than have the whole Nowak-Califf side show. Those two can’t be in the same organization anymore and as much as I would prefer to keep Califf and send Nowak down a sinking boat in the Delaware…. We’re not getting rid of Nowak. He has too much control over the organization for us to fire him and I also wouldn’t be surprised if all his buddies that make up virtually the entire org left if we ever do.

    • Nah, he took a dive. Clear as day.

      • You are wrong my friend, just the poor state of officating in the MLS

      • Clear as day? Wish I had your eye doctor.

      • Take a look. Even in his post game interview Adu does not say he was taken down. He say he “lost his balance.” BULL. Sorry he took a grand plie and cost his team the game. I hate diving. Its unsportsman like AND not in the spirit of this cities gamesmanship. Lets toughen up and win it the right way.

      • PS. Take a look at the replays. I was watching from home. Very clear.

      • Listen to Freddy, he didnot dive, only one sided officating by the center. Quite evident if you know the game.

      • You must not be a Union fan or understand the sad state of refrees in the MLS.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Dive? Yes…but there was contact. The right call would have been to play on. It’s a shame. Freddy was tooling on the Red Bull back line.

      • The Black Hand says:

        After watching the 2nd replay, it appears to be a dive. I thought the defender stepped on Adu’s back foot, but the replay shows no contact whatsoever…not good. I still think that the ref should have let play continue.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Nope, saw it again. Defender makes contact with Adu’s back foot. Horrendous decision from the Red Bull referee…awful call!

      • Adj even admitted that he wasn’t taken down. Primal balerina took a dive and the team paid for it.

      • It was grey enough that, despite my own absolute hatred for diving, you couldn’t card a guy for it. Now, had it been Agudelo, would I feel the same way? Hope so, but obviously there’s bias.

    • Actually the center lost control more than once and a bad ref gets out of trouble by giving cards for small infractions. I had hoped that MLS was going to be truthful when they stated they were addressing the sad state of officials. Linesmen don’t even seem to understand offside.

  3. swing and a miss says:

    He’s gone. Au revoir captain califf. Nowak out.

  4. This news was not a welcome Mother’s Day gift. How to tell my 8 yr old, who has been a Danny fan since Day 1? I’m afraid to get attached to anyone.

  5. LAstest twiter rumor is Califf and JAckMAc for PAblo Angel … not sure how I feel about that

    • MikeRSoccer says:

      That would be one of the dumbest sports moves I’ve ever heard. Trade a CB and a US youth soccer player striker for a decrepit, expensive and soon to be retired forward? No one would ever convince me Nowak made that decision.

    • I like it. Not impressed with JackMac and Califf is getting (too) slow. Angel would have scored the one Pajoy missed in the 90th when he hit the ball too low straight at the goalie.

      • JPA regularly misses shots that are just as easy. He is way past his prime. This would be a horrible move.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Double digit goals every season in the MLS. Angel had ten goals last year. Far from past his prime. He is dealing with an injury (only reason he is slow to get going this year). To get a striker of his talent for a declining Califf and Jack Mac (don’t see the potential), would be a fine move. He would give us a presence, in the box, for us to send balls into. Whatever the players age, his finishing speaks for itself.

      • MikeRSoccer says:

        The issue is not whether JPA is a good player. The issue is that JPA is old and will retire soon. Giving up a striker that has the potential to develop into a real talent is not worth the short term benefit of having JPA for a year or two. Getting JPA is just a desperate attempt to try and get more goals out of a team that is lacking them. Not to mention we haven’t even discussed the issue of not having a CB to replace Califf. We could have gotten JPA last season for nothing, but the FO decided against it. Instead, we traded away the leading goal scorer and now are trying desperately to get a new one even if it means buying a player we could have gotten for free by means of our captain, 1/2 our CB’s and an excellent prospect. Nowak is always talking about this being business, but this rumor goes completely against that.

      • That he’s retiring soon seems like the point. JackMac’s salary skyrockets next year. Angel’s probably disappears. This team is really, really struggling to manage the cap and remain competitive. Seems like they’re failing at both. They obviously feel that having Hoffman renders Jack surplus, especially for the money. Meanwhile, they hope JPA can provide some offense and Nowak-friendly leadership.

  6. PhillyHotspur says:

    For the love of the big man upstairs, why on earth would we move our CB ? We started S.Williams today at CB and have zero depth at that position……..

    I’m getting close to getting the brown paper bag out and placing it over my face for my next visit to PPL Park.

    Fooock it……Nowak …….Walking papers. Its time

    • For what it’s worth, Lopez looked better playing as a left-sided CB versus Schalke than he ever did playing LB earlier in the season. I think he’s even slotted in as CB for the Costa Rican nats. Then there’s Albright who can play CB in a pinch.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Those are two of the saddest things I have ever heard in my life.

      • Eli, you and I were at the Reserve Match yesterday and I feel pretty confident in saying that Porfi failed to impress vs. the Pink Cow Reserves. Corey Hertzog and Juan Agudelo had poor Lopez twisting and turning every which way. Very worrisome is the State of the Union.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I agree. Lopez looked out of his element against the Pink Cow reserves. Everytime we passed back to him I cringed in fear.

      • Amen

  7. Yeah, we really have no one to replace him. It seems like a bad move, but lets wait and see. Before jumping to conclusions lets find out what we are getting in return.

    • You seem to be from any where but Philly. Don’t you have your own team to talk about?

      • Called for?

        Not really. Nothing wrong with calling it like he sees it. Some of us really, really despise diving.

  8. Dan Walsh says:

    ESPN has a report that has some interesting insight on the Chivas side of things: http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/soccer/post/_/id/16420/chivas-usa-bid-for-califf-on-the-table.

  9. The writing has been on the wall for Danny’s departure all year. If we Angel on a short term contract. Someone to bring a little excitment this season I think it is not a terrible deal.

    We are most likely not making the playoffs this season so what does it really matter?

    Let’s reload and start thinking about getting a competitive squad together.

    Danny is high priced, the highest of any CB in MLS if I am not mistaken….he was always going to be gone.

    Sucks? Yep….but so do we a little bit

    • Dan Walsh says:

      He is one of the better paid CBs ($250k), but he’s not the highest. Rafa Marquez, Marvell Wynne and Heath Pearce make more than Califf. Arne Friedrich likely makes more, though his salary hasn’t been made public yet. The same probably goes for Nelson Rivas, Matteo Ferrari and maybe Wilman Conde.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Califf is no spring chicken. $250k, makes him one of the higher paid CB’s and he, simply, is not delivering anymore. The other backs, you have mentioned, all outplay Califf. It sucks to lose the captain, but we have better options at CB (Williams, Albright, Lopez). OK, maybe not Lopez…but he did fill in nicely against Schalke.

      • I like Williams, but he is a small guy. He’s going to get killed playing CB all season. And you think Albright is a better option than Califf? Really? I suggest you go back and watch the highlights of the Chicago and Colorado games.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        +1. Not one of those Union players is a better option at CB than Califf, who may not be as fast as he once was but is still a solid MLS center back who anchored one of the league’s best defenses last year. Williams is a terrific right back, and his absence there hurts the team. Gaddis has impressed, but he’s not Williams yet.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Was Albright playing CB during those matches? Did Califf not get equally exposed during his showings? I do like Califf, but I feel that he loses his mark a bit and gets beat in the air by opposing strikers. His size will be missed, as I agree that Williams’ size puts him at a disadvantage ( especially on set pieces). He is better utilized as a RB. I think that Albright would fill in for Califf, just fine, if his conditioning would allow him to go a full 90. I should have said options at CB, rather than “better” options.

    • Really my issue with it is that we trade away the frenchman who will not be named to pay for our future, only to trade away one of those future pieces for an older piece than the original striker

  10. Andy Muenz says:

    Regarding Bearfight and JacMac for JPA, I seem to recall JPA missing a couple of wide open headers against the Union when we played Chivas a couple of weeks ago. So that trade is not really a step up from Pajoy. It pushes our future (Mwanga, Hoffman, Martinez) further down the depth chart and adds a salary hit.

    Regarding Adu’s dive, I haven’t watched the replay yet, but I have to ask, how many cards have been issued for diving all season vs. how many dives have there been in MLS? If they called it consistently, then fine, but given the number of times it has not been called, a second yellow is just plain wrong. Give him credit for losing his footing like two or three other players did yesterday with no one around him. Verbally warn him if you like. But not a second yellow.

    • I Swoon for Cards says:

      I attend MLS games to watch the referees. Nothing is as exciting as a man chekcing his watch and calling attention to himself. Just thinking about this makes me red in the…..

  11. CityHeroesSpursZeros says:

    These rumors are annoying. Looks like the Jackmac rumor was a little preemptive and what Chivas really wants is Farfan.

  12. I’m fine with jettisoning Danny’s salary and JacMac’s ‘potential’ because there is no sense paying big salaries if Pete is not going to play them. No sane person would advocate moving Sheanon or Lopez to the center for the rest of the season. I love Sheanon, but c’mon. Be serious. Scouts need to find an import central defender stud. Bundesliga season just ended, no? Chicago just brought over Arne Fredricks (sp?) from Germany. He’d have looked great on our back line. Danny is neither a short nor long term solution due to his injuries.

    • Friedrich. Over the hill (2010 WC was kind of his swan song), but perhaps not for MLS.

      Really, though, I’m sure we would have had a higher dollar DP by now if the FO had any interest. They don’t. Philosophically it doesn’t match what we’re trying to do, and financially, it’s probably not feasible. I think it would help a lot to bring in a Mondragon-type presence, but they don’t grow on trees — at least not for below DP dollars.

  13. To put another nail in Nowak’s coffin, I have it on very good authority (1st hand report) that Mondragon was actually pushed out of the team. He wanted to continue playing for the U (was very happy where his son was at school), but the FO “persuaded” him to return to Colombia. So sick of the public relations propaganda put out by this organization!

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