Will Captain Califf soon become Coach Califf?
The Philadelphia Union center back could be heading down that path after taking a US Soccer Coaching License Course in his home state of California last month.
“I think it’s definitely a possibility,” Danny Califf told MLSsoccer.com. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do it. I wanted to find out if it’s really a viable option and something I can do when I’m done playing. It’s definitely going to be something I consider.”
The course itself, which lasted nearly 12 hours a day for nine days, was grueling enough to weed out those who aren’t passionate about the sport.
“It was beat-you-over-the-head long,” Califf said.
But it also taught even seasoned players, such as Califf, new ways to run training sessions.
“It makes you look at the game a lot different,” said Califf, who took the course with fellow MLS veterans Frankie Hejduk and Gregg Berhalter as well as former players Eddie Lewis and Taylor Twellman.
“As a player, you have your own view of game training," Califf said. "When you’re looking at the game as a coach, there are so many variables going on and so many problems you’re trying to solve. It’s a completely different view of the game.”
Of course, Califf still has three years left in his contract and the 30-year-old defender has every intention of playing through that deal and finishing his career in Philadelphia. And as the team’s captain and center back, he’s getting good training for his post-playing days; he’s almost like a coach on the field anyway.
“As a defender, you’re forced to think a little bit more about your role on the field and how to stop a guy that’s faster than you, who’s got more skill than you, who knows what he’s going to do,” Califf said. “It makes you think a lot more about positioning.
“I also felt like a coach because [my teammates] didn’t always do what I said,” he added.
As for the more immediate future, Califf is looking forward to the 2011 season. He says he hasn’t been in tune with the Union’s offseason plans – “I find out the news over the Internet,” he said – but hopes the team will be able to bring back his partner in the center of the defense, Michael Orozco Fiscal, who was with the Union on loan from the Mexican club San Luis last season.
According to Califf, Orozco Fiscal wants to be in Philadelphia and prefers a long-term deal rather than simply an extension on his loan.
“He’ll be a big piece to replace if we end up going in a different direction,” Califf said.
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