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Califf fallout, USOC & friendly news, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Califf trade is done…

Chris Vito reports that at Wednesday’s press conference in which Peter Nowak confirmed that Danny Califf would be traded to Chivas USA, the Union coach repeated the notion that Califf is “going home” four times.

“At some point, he mentioned to me that it’s going to be time to go home with his family and go back to California,” said Nowak. “This was going to happen sooner or later, so we met together and, after the talks, we decided to conclude this trade. That’s the situation.”

“We’ve been in contact every day, getting his mind to embrace the whole situation, ” said Nowak.

The difficulty of getting Califf’s “mind to embrace” the trade is easy to understand when you realize that Erin Califf, wife of the former Union captain, posted on the Union Facebook page’s wall, “My husband DID NOT WANT to be traded. -The truth.” (Emphasis in the original.) Posts on the Facebook wall of Union fan group “C’mon the U!”and BigSoccer.com said Erin Califf’s message was deleted from the Union’s wall soon after it was posted. By whom—Califf or the Union—is unknown.

…Or is it?

While the Union communicates that the trade is a done deal, Chivas USA seems to think otherwise. Chivas USA beat reporter Adam Serrano that tweeted that Chivas coach Robin Fraser says a deal is not confirmed and that it could still “go either way,” ESPN LA reporter Scott French confirms this and quotes Fraser as saying, “Yes. Something being finalized, yes…At this point I would say…I guess until any deal is done, you can’t say for sure.”

French reports, “Neither Fraser nor [Chivas USA general manager Jose] Domene would comment on tenor of the talks, but a source within the club confirmed the league was involved and that budgetary issues had slowed things down,” adding, “A league source indicated the deal was imminent.”

At MLSsoccer.com, Serrano quotes Domene as saying about the the club’s surprise at Nowak’s comments in the press conference, “It’s definitely been different because that’s not the way we do things here.”

Nowak said the Union would receive a “player plus something else.” It is unknown who the player is or what “something else” means. However, when discussion in the press conference turned to the Union’s defensive needs, Nowak said, “The trade is going to give us another option as well.”

French reports that Juan Pablo Angel was never on the table as part of the deal, nor was Jack McInerney.

Union Tally has three questions about the Califf trade.

ProSoccerTalk writes, “But who could blame Philadelphia players for not feeling great about the ground beneath their feet? Because the quirky personnel choices keep rolling out of Nowak’s office, this trade of popular team captain Danny Califf being the latest sharp crack of the bosses’ erratic whip. Let’s face it: If Nowak will ship Califf away, anybody’s locker is in danger of being suddenly emptied.”

SoB Jersha says goodbye to Califf.

More on the trade from the Daily News, CSNPhilly, MLSsoccer.com, SBI, ProSoccerTalk, Sporting News, Brotherly Game.

Team news

Nowak said at Wednesday’s press conference that he’s pleased with how the team played on Sunday. “Looking at the game, we had enough with 10 men to tie or even win the game. I like what I am seeing from these guys now…We have a good locker room here and the more time we spend to calm players down and get them to settle, their confidence is going to build and I think you are beginning to see that from a lot of the young players and the new guys.”

Raymon Gaddfis is profiled at SBI. Good read about a great young player.

Kevin Kinkead writes that the insertion of Danny Mwanga up top has led to more scoring chances.

Union Dues predicts a 1-1 draw against Dallas.

Zach Pfeffer and Academy goalkeeper Zackary Steffen have been selected to be a part of the USMNT U-18 squad that will travel to Portugal for the four-team 2012 Lisbon International Tournament May 23-26.

SoB VP Corey Furlan describes a typical match day at PPL.

US Open Cup & friendlies (AC Milan?)

Possible pairings for the Third Round of the US Open Cup have been announced and the Union will host either the Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) or Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO) at 7:30pm on Tuesday, May 29 at PPL Park.

A Union press release says,

“Tickets will go on sale to both Union season ticket holders and the general public on Friday, May 18 at 10:00 am. This game is not included in the season ticket package but Union full season ticket holders will be able to purchase their same seats for the match at a preferred season ticket holder price until Thursday, May 24 at 11:59 p.m. Those season tickets that are not purchased by the season ticket holder by the end of Thursday, May 24 will be released to the general public for purchase. Individual tickets range in price from $15 for Supporters tickets to $30 for Midfield. Premium seating and suites are also available.  Groups of 15 or more will receive a $5 discount per ticket.”

“Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase pre-paid parking for the match at a discounted rate of $10 per pass. This game is not included in season long parking passes for season ticket holders.”

Harrisburg City Islanders announced on Wednesday that they will host the Union in a friendly on June 12 at Hershey Park. A post on the Union website, however, says the game will be played at Skyline Sports Complex. Sounds like we’ve got the makings of the storyline for a bad sitcom.

Speaking about AC Milan’s upcoming summer tour of the US, manager Massimiliano Allegri said, “We’ll take part in a friendly match on July 28 in Miami and then another two games in Philadelphia.” If one of those games is against Real Madrid at Lincoln Financial Field, will the other be against the Union?


Timothy Logue of the Delco Times reports that sparks continue to fly from the plan to tax tickets and parking at PPL. Mayor John Linder says he will meet with Union officials next week.


Harrisburg City Islanders were visited by Pittsburgh River Hounds on Wednesday evening, who fought the home side to a scoreless draw. More on the match and the box score here.

If Harrisburg City Islanders defeat Long Island Rough Riders in the second round of the US Open Cup, they’ll host New England Revolution at Hershey Park. If Reading United get past Charleston Battery, they’re on the road to face New York at Red Bull Arena.

The Philadelphia Fever home opener will be proceeded by the home opener of fellow Atlantic Soccer Factory affiliate and NPSL side AC Crusaders, who will face Philadelphia’s Junior Lone Star. On Wednesday, Junior Lone Star was defeated 4–0 by Ocean City Nor’easters in a preseason scrimmage.

Franklin Towne Charter girls’ team defeated Central 2–1, ending Central’s Public League 9-year undefeated streak at 117 games.


DC defeated Colorado 2-0 on Wednesday night to draw level with Kansas City and one point behind New York.

Hassli with another cracker, this time in Amway Canadian Championship play:

Women’s Soccer

Former Philadelphia Eagles placekicker David Akers spent some time with the Philadelphia Fever on Wednesday. Said Fever goalie Michelle Dalton, “It was a really neat experience, having an NFL Pro Bowl kicker take shots on you isn’t exactly something that happens every day. He was a really nice guy and I thought to myself, if I can stop his shots I should be able to stop most shots that I will face this season.”


Sporting News says Clint Dempsey is becoming the face of US Soccer.

More on Timothy Chandler’s absence from the USMNT roster ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers from Yanks Abroad. Meanwhile, ProSoccerTalk reviews some famous US national team snubs.

Soccer America wonders who will survive “Kamp Klinsmann.”


All told, some 1,348,000 Americans tuned in to watch the final games of the Premiership season, an increase of 72 percent over 2011.

Jonathan Wilson looks at Saturday’s Champions League final.


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

    Hm, how about we leave Gaddis in at LB to learn that position, and put Williams back at RB (once we get a CB)?
    I’d rather Gaddis try to lock down the LB spot than a converted midfielder.

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

    Whitbread was just released.
    Whitbread to Union!?!?!?

  3. snugsmac - rejects says:

    The back four will be (for better or worse).

    LB – Garfan
    CB – Valdez
    CB – Williams
    RB – Gaddis

    It is the formation that has been strong for us, even though two of the four are out of position….they played fairly well together.

    I think it goes without saying (but I will anyway). Our season is over. There may be a slim chance to make that 5th spot and make the playoffs again, but I honestly do not even think the brass at the Union are planning or even caring about wins and losses right now.

  4. snugsmac - rejects says:

    We can chase that 5th spot, and I will be fully cheering us on to do so.

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