Speculation started rising over the weekend that the Philadelphia Union were dealing captain Danny Califf to Chivas USA. On Wednesday, Union manager Peter Nowak put an end to all of the speculation. He confirmed that the trade is indeed happening, pending league approval.
"The most important thing for Danny is that he is going home," Nowak said during his Wednesday press conference of Califf, a California native. "We did not try to shop Danny. This came as a surprise after the Schalke match."
Without divulging too much until the league approves the trade and all of the necessary paperwork is completed, Nowak said that the Union will be receiving a "player plus something else" in exchange for Califf.
Sheanon Williams will slide into Califf's centerback role, where he has been playing while Califf has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. Nowak said that Williams, Carlos Valdes and Brian Carroll will be in the mix to assume Califf's captain's armband after the trade is completed.
Nowak also added that the emergence of rookie fullback Ray Gaddis has helped offer more flexibility and versatility to the back line.
"The arrival of Ray Gaddis gives us the flexibilty to play the line higher," Nowak said. "The trade is going to give us another option as well."
Califf has played in four games this season for the Union, but he was held out of Philadelphia's 3-2 home loss to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, not even making the bench as a reserve. He was listed as "probable" with a hamstring strain leading into the match, and he is not included on the club's latest injury report.
"It's not that we kept him out just to conclude this trade," Nowak said.
With the pending departure of Califf, Philadelphia will have lost three core members of the nucleus from last year's playoff team, with Faryd Mondragon returning to Colombia and Sebastien Le Toux being traded to Vancouver.
"This is the worst thing of the job, that sometimes you have to make those kinds of trades," Nowak said. "You have to believe in what you're doing, and we do."
What do you think of this development? Think Philadelphia is making a mistake by trading away Califf? Witholding judgment until its clear what the Union are receiving in return?
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