Union agree to trade captain Califf to Chivas


After an extended period of trade purgatory, Union captain Danny Califf is going home.

On Wednesday, three days after coach Peter Nowak announced there was an offer on the table for Califf, the third-year center back and the Union have accepted a trade to Chivas USA. The official announcement is expected to come soon.

Weve been in contact every day, getting his mind to embrace the whole situation, said Nowak in regards to Califf, a California native. He mentioned that at some point it was going to be time to go home with his family and go back to California. This will happen sooner or later. We decided to conclude this trade and thats the situation.

It will be confirmed soon. Its not up for us to release this stuff, its a league process. Its not our deal, its a process we have to be involved in but need to respect it.

Califf, who has played in 65 games over three seasons with the Union, was not available for comment.

The Union will receive a player in return for Califf, along with either a draft selection, international roster spot or allocation money.

We are getting a player and something else for Califf, Nowak said.

While a hamstring injury and dealings between Califfs agent and Chivas delayed the decision, another unnamed MLS club jumped into the mix for veteran defender. But because of Califfs wish to head back to California, the Union shrugged off the secondary offer.

Another team from MLS made an offer, but we informed him about that and he wants back in California with his family, Nowak said. That was a situation were going to accommodate, we talked this through with Danny and there is mutual respect from both sides.

Looking to avoid the public relations disaster like the Sebastien Le Toux trade prior to the 2012 regular season, in which fan favorite Le Toux was traded amid bad blood. The Union played the Califf trade with incredible transparency. Nowak emphasized they did everything they could to accommodate Califf.

For player purposes, he wants to go this way and we try to accommodate as soon as we can, Nowak said. Im glad we resolved this situation and hell go back home to play with some coaches he knows. Going home is always a good thing.

Its never easy to say goodbye in this business. Our guys in the technical staff and the players, they dont enjoy this kind of stuff. We knew this from the beginning with Danny and he wanted to embrace this with his family. The most important thing is hes going home, were just not sending him somewhere to make a trade. Hes familiar with the coaches over there. Hes from California, so he knows the situation.

Giving the Union some room to maneuver on the back line is the emergence of rookie speedster Ray Gaddis, who has improved in each of his five games this season. In Califfs absence because of injury, right back Sheanon Williams has taken over center back duties and also excelled.

During the couple of weeks weve played with Sheanon and the arrival of Ray Gaddis, he gave us the flex to play the line a little higher and we have enough speed, Nowak said. As you will see with the trade, its going to give us another option as well. Its the worst part of the job but sometimes you have to make these kind of trades and believe what were doing.

As for the Union captaincy, its between three guys: Brian Carroll, Carlos Valdes and Williams.

Its a different dynamic in the locker room, Nowak said. Brian Carroll and Valdes will take responsibilityWilliams as well, to manage the locker room. Its always different approach and over the weeks that Danny was injured, these guys did a good job of handling these things.

In their first game without Califf on the roster, the Union will head to Texas to face FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday.

E-mail Ryan Bright at ryanbright13@gmail.com

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