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Nowak: Califf deal to Chivas agreed

Photo by Earl Gardner

[Update: Chivas USA beat writer for MLSSoccer.com and SBI West Coast correspondent Adam Serrano tweeted after the Nowak press conference, “Spoke to both [Chivas USA general manager] Jose Domene and [head coach] Robin Fraser about the Califf rumors. No deal confirmed.” He next tweeted, “Robin Fraser did say that he expects to have some sort of resolution regarding the deal by the weekend and it could go either way.”]

Acknowledging that “In this business, it is never easy to say goodbye,” Peter Nowak confirmed at a press conference Wednesday that Philadelphia Union and Chivas USA have agreed on terms of a deal trading Danny Califf traded for an still-unnamed player.

Nowak said that “We are still in the process of concluding this,” adding that only paperwork and league procedures stand in the way of the deal being finalized.

The Union coach said that after meetings with Califf, “We, together, decided to conclude this trade.”

“I’m glad he’s going to be going home and play for coaches he knows,” said Nowak of the defender, who is originally from Southern California.

Nowak indicated the initial offer from Chivas came after the Schalke game. Nowak emphasized that the Union had not been shopping Califf and that the deal was unexpected.

“We’ve been honest from the beginning about this with Danny,” said Nowak.

While he would not name the player who would be coming to Philadelphia in exchange for Califf, Nowak did seem to suggest that the player would provide another defensive option.

Nowak made clear that Califf is the only Union player involved in the trade with Chivas. In addition to another player, he said the team would receive “something else” in exchange for Califf but would not elaborate.

Nowak also indicated that Brian Carroll, Carlos Valdes and Sheanon Williams would now be assuming the leadership role previously filled by Califf.

The man affectionately known as Bearfight was one of the first players to sign with the Union and he wore the captain’s armband during their inaugural and current seasons.

Over 63 games in just more than two seasons, Califf was an automatic selection and an anchor in the back. Though he scored but one goal, he was a fan favorite from the moment he arrived in Philadelphia.

After establishing one of the best partnerships in MLS with Carlos Valdes, it was assumed that Califf would see out his career in the City of Brotherly Love.

Nowak said in the press conference that Sheanon Williams was ready to embrace the center back position and indicated that more depth could be found in the forthcoming transfer window.

PSP will have more details as they emerge.


  1. MikeRSoccer says:

    I’m guessing that because Nowak mentioned Williams is ready to take up the CB position, which I won’t even begin to comment on, means that the Union will not be getting Pearce or another CB in return. For now the scariest thing a Union fan could see is Valdes hitting the ground.

    • -nickt.- says:

      so the winner of the mls cup is the team with the most allocation money at the end of the season right?

      • well you have to have the money to pay for the Galaxy to have their name removed. They got a deal on a case of 100 trophies if they all had the same name on them.

      • There’s a grand plan I’m sure…
        In the Italian Seria “A” there are many high profile players retiring. Del Piero, Inzaghi, Zambrotta, GaTusso and others are looking to play at “lesser” clubs.
        I’m SURE Nowack has them lined up for the Union… Its gonna be a long year.

    • Seeing Valdes hit the ground in the past was scary enough. I shudder to think of it now…

  2. I hate Nowak

  3. I guess after the Red Bulls Game they decided good enough was good enough. I suspect they will go to a 3 man back line after this Gaddis – Valdez – Williams.

    • MRusso22 says:

      This is a good thought, makes sense. I am actually not opposed to it.

      I appreciate Danny and will miss him, but Carroll often times plays so deep that this may be a solid change.

      This doesn’t come without cost. Califf was the leader which apparently doesn’t get valued as much by Union management. In addition our awful free kick and aerial defense will continue to be an issue.

      I do welcome more offense though and if this is a catalyst for that than I can more comfortably support it.

  4. MikeRSoccer says:

    Scott Gordon on Chivas wouldn’t be a terrible pick up for the U. Don’t know much about him, but he’s tall, heavy and I’m guessing he’s a CB. Only 24 as well.

  5. DarthLos117 says:

    Best wishes and thanks Danny!!!

  6. Jeremy L. says:

    Oy. Nowak, seriously–what are you trying to do? I’m genuinely wondering. What is the plan for this team?

  7. Are we 100% sure it’s Chivas USA? I mean, Nowak didn’t mention that team by name. All he said was “another MLS club” and “southern California”. San Jose? LA Galaxy?

  8. How about Erin Califf commenting on the team’s Facebook post about Nowak’s presser that Danny didn’t ask to be traded? Coincidence that her comment has since disappeared?

    • WilkersonMcLaser says:

      Do you have a screen, by any chance?

      • I do not, but folks have replied to her comment:
        “Erin – believe me I KNOW! We all know how this team operates. It’s another very sad day for the fans of the Union. It’s the Cult of Piotr”
        “Thank you Erin for chiming in. I don’t want to see Danny go, he was a true union player and his fans know it.

        Really sad that norwak had to go screw things up again. But leave it to Philly to hire the WORST coaches ever!!!! I for one will vote the firing of Norwak!”

      • WilkersonMcLaser says:

        Apparently she said this: “My husband DID NOT WANT to be traded. -The truth.”

  9. Who in their right mind would want to play for the Union right now?

  10. DarthLos117 says:

    One PR nightmare after another for the Chester Union….cant wait to hear what Califf says once the dust settles on this trade.

  11. Kensington Josh says:

    Bye, Bearfight- you’ll give knife wounds to different grizzlies than the ones that wrestle in the PPL- We loved you for your work, for finishing plays when your eye was bloody, for being a wonderful person off the field, and a belligerent, committed, mohawk-rocking CB on it.

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

    I am pissed about Nowak FOR Williams. Dude has a great career ahead of him at RB, possible NT player, yet not Nowak will ruin his career by playing him at CB.

    • Depends on whom we get from this mystery SoCal team and/or whom will be purchased from our Scrooge McDuck stockpile of allocation money.

  13. Funny thing… The jersey’s I have purchased each season have led to the demise of players: Fred, Le Toux, and Califf.

    Next jersey I buy will have Nowak’s name!

  14. Did I just lose King Kenny Dalglish on my eastern hemisphere team and Bearfight Califf on the same day? Where’s the happy hour today?

  15. Not sure what hurts worse, losing to the Pink Cows or losing Bearfight.

    Just another chapter in the horror story that is the 2012 Philadelphia Union season.

    Really wish the members of the media that cover the Union would grow a set and really press Nowak to define his vision for this team. Crucial pieces continue to be sold off/go home/retire without adequate replacement being brought in for cover. Who’s next to go?

  16. MikeRSoccer says:

    I really think it’s time for the Union fans to put together a petition asking for the removal of Nowak from all aspects of the organization. Sure, it won’t accomplish anything realistically, but the organization needs to know that the fans are unhappy with the total lack of respect for players,lying and also legitimately question the motives and supposedly positive impact that these transactions made. A pattern is emerging of decisions appearing to be made out of spite rather than business as Nowak claims. Lying about injuries and player wishes crosses a line. Even if these moves are in the end “good business” the PR disasters that they have created-Le Toux’s DelCoTimes interview and now Califf’s wife + the rest that is sure to come-makes the organization undesirable to any prospective player. I would be willing to bet that the Chivas player who is being traded to us is dreading the move.

    • MikeRSoccer says:

      I would also like to point out that this press conference was clearly an attempt by the organization to be completely transparent to avoid the disaster that was the Le Toux move. Yet, no one informed Nowak transparency goes out the window when you outright lie about a player wanting to leave. The whole situation is literally unbelievable.

    • I second this, completely agree.

    • I wrote a letter to Nick asking some of these quesitons – the response (and yes, I was actually surprised I got one, but not form Nick) was that their mission was to put a quality product on the field. Hmm…

  17. Chico Resch says:

    Brilliant comments. Who the hell would want to play for this team now is right, and yep, LeToux and Califf trades appeared to have a healthy dose of spite at their core. If this doesn’t lead to a badass CB signing best to write the playoffs off. Williams is a promising wing player, not a CB. It has become crystallized that Nowak has pretty much total control over personnel. I am tiring of him, but my last amount of patience will be exhausted without serious signings over the summer transfer window

    • Spot on. I totally agree……..BUT if they would get an additional int’l slot from Chivas and spend the pile of allocation $$$ they’ve accumulated on a legit Euro CB (Serie A or Bundesliga) then I’m almost okay with it all. Glass half full???

  18. Union fan says:

    So sad to see Danny go he was a great player! Best of luck at chivas Danny! I will always be a fan of yours!

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

    And its a shame soccer isnt mainstream. this is a straight media circus. imagine the kind of talk it would be getting on espn or the radio

  20. Kyle Nakazawa says:

    Anyone want to bet the “something else” is an International Slot? Because @AllocationMoney is busy?

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      Just might be given Nowak’s reference to trying to get defensive help in the summer transfer window.

      • James 4-3-3 says:

        Yeah, I can’t waaaait to get an overpriced, overaged grandpa who will cost 5 times as much as Califf and has as good a chance at being the next MArquex than he does the next Califf.

  21. Please fire Nowak before he… Oh, wait, he’s already destroyed the team.

  22. I met Danny with my son during the open house at PPL park. He could not have been nicer. I have ben a big fan ever since. The idea of sitting and/or trading fan favorites is risky, even when you are winning. Nick needs to take into consideration the marketability of the individual players and whether or not this coach is providing a return on the investment.

  23. The Union coach said … “We, together, decided to conclude this trade.”

    If that’s true then why is Danny “unavailable for comment”? Answer – Nowak is full of shit, and just wants to avoid the same nightmare from selling Le Toux. We deserve a better coach. Fire Nowak.

  24. Please don’t miss the point, the Union is Nowak’s team no one else matters. The fans are not even on the radar. Danny is a great back, he will be missed.

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