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Califf & McInerney? Dive or no? More news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Danny Califf

It began with a post on Union supporters group El Bandito’s Battalion’s Facebook page on Saturday afternoon that read, “Rumor is califf traded?!?! Inside source. If this is true, mutiny mode.”

At 7:18am on Monday morning, a tweet from French Canadian soccer news outlet SoccerPlus said a press conference announcing his trade to Chivas USA trade will happen at 1pm.

So, what is happening to Danny Califf, who along with Jack McInerney, Danny Mwanga, Amobi Okugo (SuperDraft), Roger Torres (loan) and Sheanon Williams (late season signing from Harrisburg), is the last of the Union originals?

Before you answer, consider this from Delco Times reporter Chris Vito’s Union Tally blog: “The latest word on the Web has Califf heading West, with Jack McInerney, for Chivas USA’s Juan Pablo Angel.”

Peter Nowak acknowledged in Sunday’s post-game press conference that the Union have received a trade offer for Califf—”This [offer] is from Major League Soccer. It’s not Vancouver”—but would not name the club.

Nowak also said, “Danny Califf’s status is that we did receive the offer for him late in this week. We informed the player right after this happened. I did talk to Danny about this. I expressed that we did not look to make this happen.”

Nowak and sporting director Diego Gutiérrez both stressed that nothing has been finalized, with Gutiérrez going so far as to say, “Whether he’s here tomorrow or not—my guess is he will be.”

Kerith Gabriel reports that “according to Union manager Peter Nowak,” the Union received two offers for Califf from Chivas USA. The club rejected the first offer and is considering the second offer.

Nick Sakiewicz tells Marc Narducci, “There is no deal. That doesn’t mean they can’t put something on the table that is a real deal.”

When asked about the reports by ESPN LA, Chivas coach Robin Fraser said he was “shocked to hear” Nowak’s comments. He continued, “We listen to inquiries every day, we make inquiries every day. It’s part of the job. It happens all the time…Not a day goes by when we don’t inquiries or make inquiries.” As far as the accuracy of Nowaks’ comments, Fraser said: “Let’s just say we’ve made enquiries…It’s all speculation at this point.”

To varying degrees, the subtext of the reports in mainstream outlets—The Daily News, The Inquirer, The Delco Times, CSN Philly—seems to be that this is a deal that is only an announcement away from being finalized.

Marc Narducci says in what may be the most insightful observation he’s ever made as the Union beat reporter for the Inquirer,

“Either way, the Union keeps talking about how difficult it has been for the newcomers to make adjustments this year and then they keep on looking at bringing in new players.

“Eventually, the team that Nowak wants will be out there.”

Recalling the losses of Sebastien Le Toux and Faryd Mondragon in the space of 48 hours during the preseason, Chris Vito understates, “Another such transaction of a fan favorite might not sit well with the club’s supporters.”

This has already appeared on the web:

The loss to New York

So, did Freddy dive? “I was bracing myself to get hit,” Adu said after the game. “(New York’s Dax McCarty) stuck his foot out but didn’t get me. I didn’t stay down and complain for a call. I was trying to get back up and play. (Gonzalez) blew the whistle and everything happened so fast. He just decided, ‘He tried to bait me.’ In my opinion, if a player’s already gotten a yellow card and something like that happens, I didn’t even get a warning.”

Adu explained further, “It wasn’t a foul or anything. But in that instant, I’m not just trying to bait the ref into calling it. I’ve already got a yellow card. I’m not gonna go out there and be stupid and try and dive. I was just bracing myself to get hit. He stuck his foot out, but he didn’t get me.”

Said Red Bulls manager Hans Backe, “100-percent, definitely a dive.”

Backe added, “Lucky break with Adu being sent off. I think it would better if he had stayed on the pitch. I think it’s terrible to play 11 vs. 10.”

“I don’t know what to think anymore,’ said Nowak of the ref’s call. “I’ll let the professionals assess the referee decisions.”

Goal.com says in his 43 minutes on the field, “Freddy Adu captured the essence of his compelling and frustrating club career.”

ProSoccer Talk’s Steve Davis praises the referee’s decision as “a very gutsy call.”

Did the red card matter in the end? “It didn’t really make a difference for us,” Keon Daniel said. “The guys know they have to come out and step it up a bit. We did that and we got chances. We just didn’t finish them. That’s the way football goes sometimes. We hit the target but we didn’t get the result we wanted.”

One thing that made a difference was the new formation. “(Having two strikers) makes life easier, not just for me, but for everyone else attacking,” said Danny Mwanga. “I was trying to be in the center of the pitch and trying to occupy the two center backs. That gives Lio and Freddy the free space to go one on one, and they had shots on goal. Whenever you have more offensive players on the field it helps you create more chances. We can attack—we can definitely create chances.” Now for the finishing…

Nowak said of the Union’s effort in the loss, “Too many positives to mention. The team is progressing and today was a full 90 minutes where everybody played great. I’m proud of their effort. It’s always disappointing to lose the game in this fashion.”

Sheanon Williams said, “You’ve got to get it going. We’ve already put ourselves behind and we’re kind of chasing the pack but we haven’t even gotten into the thick of our (Eastern Conference) season. We’re not far behind. A couple games with results and we’re right back in it. We just have to take advantage of chances and keep it going. I thought we were the better team today. It just didn’t finish that way. I think we’re going to be OK. We have to keep working at it and keep fighting.”

Match reports and recaps from Philly Soccer Page, The Philadelphia Inquirer, CSN Philly, Times Herald, SBI, ESPN, AP, Goal.com, ProSoccerTalk, the Guardian90soccer, SBNation, MLS Talk.

The Union reserves gave away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with the New York reserves. Jack McInerney and Antoine Hoppenot scored for the Union with local lad Corey Hertzog getting a goal for New York.

Taxes & protest

The city of Chester is considering a 10 percent tax on all tickets and 20 percent tax on parking at PPL. “These taxes would effectively put us out of business over time,” said Nick Sakiewicz. “We gross about $20 million a year and these taxes would amount to about $2 million on top of what we pay right now…We were very shocked to hear about them and very much caught off guard. We found out about it through the rumor mill.”

Sakiewicz said the new taxes, which have not gone beyond the planning stage, have already put a hold on plans to expand PPL Park. “It’s a $10 million project and I can tell you it’s on hold right now. I think the broader message, not just for us but all businesses and developers is, ‘If you come to Chester and build, the rules can change and we may tax you after your successful.'”

A small protest was held at PPL Park after Sunday’s match forced the re-scheduling of Chester’s annual Mother’s Day parade, described in this report as “a sacred event in Chester.”


After a goal from Paul Wyatt in the first 45 seconds of play, Reading United conceded in the 83rd minute to finish their home opener at New Jersey Rangers 1–1. They face the USASA’s New York Greek American Atlas at Fleetwood High School’s Ray Buss Field on Tuesday night in US Open Cup play.

Harrisburg City Islanders came from behind twice and battled to a 2–2 draw on the road at Richmond Kickers. Former Union forward Chris Argosor scored the Kickers second goal. The City Islanders host Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Wednesday night at Skyline Sports Complex.

The Patriot-News looks at Jason Pelletier’s importance as a leader on the City Islanders.


In the Eastern Conference, New York’s win 3-2 over the ninth place Union moves them into first place. Kansas City falls to second after their 2-1 loss on the road to fourth place Chicago. Third place DC lost 1-0 to seventh place Houston as the Dynamo opened their new stadium. Fifth place New England trounced Vancouver 4-1 with the help of a brace from Lee Nguyen, released by Vancouver earlier this year. Sixth place Montreal drew 1-1 with LA while drawing nearly 61,000 to the game. Eighth place Columbus defeated ten-man Dallas 2-1. Last place Toronto had the weekend off.

Women’s Soccer

The USL has shed more light on its W-PRO league, which looks to launch in 2013. USL President Tim Holt says, “W-PRO is being developed to offer an economically viable and sustainable model for professional women’s soccer in the United States and Canada…Distinguished by a business plan focused on team services, creative marketing, financial discipline and player development, W-PRO will establish an exciting, stable league platform for team owners, players, fans and sponsors. A formal announcement and additional details about W-PRO will occur in the coming months.” You can check out a teaser clip for the new league here.

In WPSL Elite League play, New York Fury defeated New England Mutiny 5–1 on the road on Saturday night, Merritt Mattias scoring a hat trick and an assist. More on the match here and here.

Western New York Flash defeated FC Indiana 4–1, Spanish international Adriana Santamaria Martin scoring a hat trick.


The US U-17 WNT defeated Canada 1–0 in the finals of the CONCACAF u-17 World Cup qualifiers. Post game quotes here.


Qatari club Al-Saad have announced the signing of Raul.

Man City broke the curse in rather a dramatic kind of way.


  1. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    Newest rumors include we are trading Mwanga too, possibly for Hassili.
    Either way, mutiny mode is right. This would be ridiculous. I am already angry as hell and these things are still only rumors!

    • can we have Mattocks too?

      • Any way you slice it, additional forwards do not help with the lack of depth within the defensive ranks. Trading away Califf leaves us terribly thin as I have zero confidence in the likes of Porfi Lopez and Chris Albright. We desperately need defenders and must stop playing Marfan and Sheanon out of position. Dark days indeed.

      • I hear they have a guy named Harvey.

    • The Black Hand says:

      I would send Mwanga for Hassli in a heartbeat.

      • am i the only one with black hand? hassli is awesome. yeah, he gets too many red cards but he is a force in the air, great hold up play, and would work really well with Adu and Pajoy on the other sides of a 4-3-3.

      • No, you’re not. I would love that too. Hassli is just what this team needs, and people need to face the fact that Mwanga will never have the personality to be what they want him to be. That would rock.

      • MRusso22 says:

        I would love this too. Hassli is one of my favorite players to watch for the reasons Andrew mentioned above.

        Plus while yes he does get too many reds, his attitude up top would be a benefit to this team. Too many times up top I feel we are soft and Hassli is anything but soft. Mwanga may have a bright future but for the Union right now he is not the answer.

      • While I think there’s no way we’re getting Hassli for Mwanga, if it is in fact true why couldn’t we get him for Le Toux? I agree he’s a better striker than Mwanga, but it’d be great to be able to have both. It seems a waste to throw away Le Toux for nothing, then turn around and trade Mwanga to the same team. I’l

  2. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    Red Bulls Reportedly Sign Nesta
    While the Union are set to trade their captain and starting CB, the Red Bulls reportedly acquire Alessandro Nesta.

    We are so screwed.

  3. is there even a silver lining here? is it even possible?

    • msg24365 says:

      Soon, we might be able to seek money from the Colombian Football Federation as their farm system team???

  4. Stop being so scared. If Manchester United can sell Cristiano Ronaldo, we can sell Jack Mack and Old Man Califf.

    Stop crying and start backing the youngsters and new faces.

    • Isn’t Mwanga one of those youngsters? Isn’t Lopez one of those new faces?

    • I back anyone in a Union kit. That doesn’t mean I can’t question the personnel moves of the organization. I’m a supporter, not a cult member.

    • Matt Kirk says:

      I disagree, Man United sold 1 major player and kept most of their other major players, which they have had for a long time which builds chemistry between everyone involved. That is a completely different situation
      If Nowak trades or sells Califf and/or JacMac, he only further digs himself a hole because he is turning the team into a group of mercenaries rather then a group of teammates. The more players Nowak ships out the more we hear how bad they (Front Office/Management) are with dealing with players. Who wants to come to a club where the player already knows the management is not very player friendly?
      And backing the new faces? I think we(as a whole fan base) support almost anyone who comes through the blue and gold, we can criticize because we are the ones paying to see OUR club and OUR players play. We support every player, even Ruiz was supported, highly criticized but supported.
      Lastly, we just keep getting more and more new faces and youngsters and they just get shipped right out so it is definitely hard as a fan to develop a love for the players when we know they more than likely will not be there in a few months

    • Manchester United – Sir Alex Ferguson. Loads of history. Global brand, worldwide respect.

      Philadelphia Union – Peter Nowak.

      ManU getting rid of Ronaldo isn’t even close to resembling a good analogy. And for the record, we got rid of our Ronaldo – Le Toux – and now we’re 2-6-1. It may not be because of him, but it could be …

  5. snugsmac says:

    We have 6 losses in 9 games…and we may get Hassli and Angel??? What is wrong with that? Califf was always going to be gone, wouldn’t you rather get something for him? Mwanaga for Hassli would be asteal

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Hassli just went 17 MLS games in a row without scoring, until last week. His salary is three times what Mwanga makes.

      • snugsmac says:

        …and how many goals does Danny have?

      • how many minutes does Danny have?

      • How many wasted chances does Danny have?

      • The Black Hand says:

        Mwanga was a non-factor on Sunday. In fact, from what I saw out of Mwanga, I would have to think about giving him another start. If it wasn’t for the fact that Hassli is a lot more expensive than Danny, I would package up Mwanga in a heartbeat. I would still probably do it knowing the price tag on Hassli.

      • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

        No offense BlackHand, but that is totally bumd and EXACTLY what is wrong with Nowak. Mwanga has a so-so game, and you need to think about giving him another start?! THAT KIND OF YO YOING IS EXACTLY WHY HIS GROWTH HAS BECOME STAGNANT. SERIOUSLY.
        That is EXACTLY what is wrong with Nowak and I cant beleive fans think like him. Give the kid a goddamn decent run of games – just like Pajoy had before he finally scored two goals.
        I cant beleive you can be so hard on a 20 year old kid who probably is so confused by what his coach is doing to him.

      • The Black Hand says:

        James, you do have a point about allowing a young player the time to get comfortable and mature. My only problem is that we have six losses. We need a string of wins A.S.A.P. I don’t feel that Mwanga played with any intensity, at all. He needs to take advantage of his opportunities better. I feel that his efforts were poor on Sunday. His touch off pass, on Gomez’ goal, was really the only thing that I have seen from him this year. He needs to step up if he wants to be in the XI. Believe me, I want Mwanga to get going!

  6. msg24365 says:

    Rumor is that Roberto Carlos (39 YO) might be their first DP. Currently not playing at Anzhi Makhachkala.

    • Ok, we are just throwing names around now. I’m more concerned about this “new tax” rumore on the team by the great metropolis of Chester than any player movement rumors.

      In any case, there is no need for a DP right now. Its pointless. We have a squad now Nowak needs to lead the team properly.

  7. MikeRSoccer says:

    At the end of the day we can take solace in one fact: Be happy that we are not Toronto.

  8. Ps. This is all reminiscent of the le roux drama. They are trying to create demand where there is none ie… le roux to epl

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