CHIVAS USA: Bid for Califf on the table

May, 13, 2012
5/13/12
7:26
PM PT

Chivas USA has made two offers to the Philadelphia Union to acquire veteran center back Danny Califf, according to Philly's manager, but Goats head coach Robin Fraser has nothing to say about it.

Peter Nowak told the Philadelphia Daily News on Sunday that the Union had declined an initial offer from Chivas but are considering a counteroffer for the club's captain's services.

“Danny Califf's status is that we received an offer for him this last week and we informed the player right after it happened,” Nowak told media following the Union's 3-2 loss Sunday against the New York Red Bulls. “I talked to Danny ... but we did not conclude anything, so as of right now he is still with us.”

Nowak would not identify the team making the offers after the game, but reports from multiple outlets said it was Chivas -- later confirmed -- and the name bandied about most of all was Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel's. One report also had Chivas picking up teenage striker Jack McInerney.

Fraser told ESPN Los Angeles he was “shocked to hear” Nowak's comments after part of the Philadelphia Daily News story was read to him.

“We listen to inquiries every day, we make inquiries every day,” Fraser said. “It's part of the job. It happens all the time. ... Not a day goes by when we don't inquiries or make inquiries.”

Asked whether Nowak's comments were accurate, Fraser said: “Let's just say we've made enquiries. ... It's all speculation at this point.”

The Brotherly Game blog, which covers the Union, said several unidentified sources reported the trade has been completed.

The 32-year-old Califf (Orange/Orange HS), a 2000 Olympian who has made 23 appearances for the U.S. national team, began his pro career with the Galaxy in 2000, making 137 first-team appearances in five seasons with the club and playing a key role on the 2002 MLS Cup-winning side.

He spent a season with San Jose before heading to Denmark for five years, then joined Philadelphia when it joined MLS in 2010. He was a starter the past two seasons but has had an intriguing relationship with Nowak, who held him out of two games this season because of knee injury that Califf said didn't exist. There has been speculation that the Union was looking to deal Califf, a popular player with the club's fans.

Heath Pearce and Rauwshan McKenzie have been Chivas' first-choice center backs this year, and Colombian John Alexander Valencia started last week's loss to Chicago and Sunday's 1-1 draw at San Jose. Pearce is a natural left back and has also played on the right side.

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