Philadelphia Union Sign Danny Califf

USMNT Veteran Joins MLS Club from Danish SuperLiga

CHESTER, Pa. (January 21, 2010) - Philadelphia Union announce that they have signed United States Men’s National Team veteran Danny Califf. The 29-year old central defender comes to the Philadelphia from FC Midtjylland in the Danish Superliga. 

Califf brings leadership and international experience to Philadelphia Union, having earned 23 caps with the USMNT. In 2009, he captained the side’s 3-2 win over Sweden and helped them to a first place finish in the CONCACAF region to earn a trip to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Califf also helped the squad to the finals of the Confederations Cup, where it defeated powerhouse Spain, 2-0, in the semi-finals.

"So far, through the MLS Expansion Draft and SuperDraft, we’ve obtained a lot of young talent,” said Team Manager Peter Nowak. “With that in mind, we expect Danny Califf will bring tons of MLS and international experience to the pitch, every day. His excellent work ethic will set a high standard to guide our young players at every practice and in every match.” 

Drafted by the LA Galaxy in 2000, Califf captured three championships with the team, including the 2002 MLS Cup, the 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2000 Champions’ Cup titles. After being traded to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2005, Califf made 20 starting appearances, scoring twice, and was rewarded with a spot on the MLS Best XI team. 

“At this point in my career—being a veteran—I’m quite comfortable being asked to take on a leadership role,” said Califf, who performed a similar role with his club teams in Denmark. “More importantly, it’s great to be back in the U.S., working with Peter (Nowak) and (Coach John) Hack(worth), who I’ve been with before. I am so excited to work with American kids, who like me, have come through the U.S. National Team system. I’m sure we’ll relate well to one another for the benefit of Philadelphia Union.” 

Following the 2005 season, Califf made the move across the Atlantic Ocean to Aalborg BK of the Danish Superliga. Califf made more than 50 league appearances for the Danish side in three seasons and, as a captain, led the team into the 2007 UEFA Cup group stage after a massive upset of Italian side Sampdoria. In 2008, he signed with FC Midtjylland and was immediately inserted into the starting line-up, where he made 23 appearances as vice-captain of the squad.

“We feel very fortunate that we were able to capitalize on this opportunity to bring in a player of Danny’s caliber and experience,” stated Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “Peter Nowak and John Hackworth have both worked with Danny over the years and have great respect for his work ethic. Danny is an excellent addition to our growing player roster.”

Philadelphia Union’s first-ever First Kick will take place March 25, 2010 vs. FC Sounders at Seattle’s Qwest Field. The club’s home opener will be April 10, 2010 vs. D.C. United at Lincoln Financial Field.

ABOUT KEYSTONE SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LLC
Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, is the Philadelphia Union ownership group. It is comprised of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iStar Financial Jay Sugarman, CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, Christopher and Robert Buccini and David Pollin, founding partners of the Buccini Pollin Group, Swarthmore Group’s Jim Nevels (Chairman) and Paula Mandle (CEO), and Philadelphia attorney William Doran. For more information about Philadelphia Union, visit www.philadelphiaunion.com.

ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. MLS kicked off its 14th season on March 19, and will feature 15 teams each playing 30 regular season matches. They include Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto FC and, in its inaugural season, Seattle Sounders FC. Philadelphia Union will debut as an expansion team in 2010, while expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland will debut in 2011. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official website at www.MLSnet.com.