Player Details


Danny Califf


6' 2"


185 lbs

Date of Birth

3.18.1980 (43)


Montclair, CA USA


2023 MLS Regular Season
2023 MLS Regular Season
Career Summary

Central defender Danny Califf was signed by the Union on January 21, 2010 after rights were previously acquired from Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland on December 3, 2009. The veteran has since become a mainstay in the center of Philadelphia's defense with his physically imposing style of play.

Califf won the 2002 MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy, served as captain of Aalborg BK of the Danish Superliga, and has been been capped 23 times with the USMNT. In 2009, he captained the side’s 3-2 win over Sweden and helped the U.S. 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.

The physically imposing center back was drafted by the LA Galaxy in 2000 and 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.

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. 

2011: Served as co-captain…Anchored a Union defense that finished the regular season tied for second in the league in goals against average (1.06) and posted 10 shutouts…Organized a back line that kept opponents to just 3.05 shots on goal during the regular season, an all-time Major League Soccer record…Started in 35 games, including two playoff games, logging 3,150 minutes…Scored first goal of Union career in season opening game at Houston on 3/19/11.

2009-10: Signed on January 21, 2010 by Philadelphia after rights were previously acquired on December 3, 2009 … Named the captain of the Union before the club’s first-ever game against Seattle Sounders FC. 

2008-09: Signed with Danish Superliga title contenders FC Midtjylland after three seasons at AaB … A mainstay in the back four, was named vice-captain of the squad … Immediately inserted into the Wolves starting lineup, where he made 23 appearances prior to the winter break. 

2007-08: Began the year as Aalborg BK’s captain and a mainstay in their central defense … Led the team to an improbable victory over two legs against Sampdoria, a result which meant they were entered into the UEFA Cup group stage … Captained AaB to the league championship in 2008, making 30 appearances in the center of defense as the club finished nine points clear of FC Midtjylland and gained entry into the UEFA Champions League. 

2006-07: In his first full season in Danish football, he adapted to the league superbly … Made 30 league appearances, scoring one goal for AaB … Was instrumental in guiding AaB to a third place finish in the Danish Superliga, good enough for qualification into the UEFA Cup. 

2005-06: At the end of 2005, he made the move across the Atlantic Ocean to Aalborg BK of the Danish Superliga … Made nine appearances for the side in the second half of the ‘05-‘06 season. 

2005: Traded to the San Jose Earthquakes prior to the 2005 season, he rediscovered his form from two years before … Was named to the MLS Best XI for the first time and scored twice in 20 starting appearances. 

2004: Was severely hampered by injury in 2004, and made only 10 appearances for the Galaxy … Finished his Galaxy career making 103 regular season appearances for the Galaxy, scoring five goals. 

2003: Was less commanding for the Galaxy in 2003, and his team slipped to a disappointing fourth-place Western Conference finish … Made 23 appearances for the club, all of them in the starting 11. 

2002: Anchored the Galaxy defense en route to their first MLS Cup championship in 2002 … Finished the season with 25 appearances … Part of the MLS’ best defense, finishing with a league low 33 goals allowed and a 1.18 GAA. 

2001: Scored the extra-time goal which gave the Galaxy the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title … Finished the season appearing in 24 games, making 23 starts for the club … Compiled a career high three goals and one assist for seven points … Scored an overtime winner vs. Kansas City on May 5, 2001. 

2000: One of three finalists for MLS Rookie of the Year honors … Was voted Galaxy Defender of the Year in his rookie season … Finished the season appearing in 18 games, making 16 starts in his first campaign … Scored his first career MLS goal against Tampa Bay on June 17.


2009: Helped the USMNT to the finals of the Confederations Cup, where the squad defeated Spain 2-0 in the semifinals … Captained the team in the 2-0 win against Sweden on Jan. 20 at The Home Depot Center … Captained the USMNT to a first place finish in the CONCACAF region to earn a trip to the 2010 World Cup … Started in central defense in the USA’s 2-2 come-from-behind draw against El Salvador in the first road World Cup qualifier of the final round. 2008: Appeared in three games during 2008, starting all three and playing 90 minutes in each of them, including the 0-0 draw against Argentina in June at Giants Stadium in N.J. … Began his second FIFA World Cup qualifying cycle by making two appearances at center back, first in the 1-0 victory on June 20 against Barbados and again in Oct. 15 in a 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain. 2007: Made a return to the U.S. side under Bob Bradley … Was a member of the squad that competed at the 2007 Copa America tournament in Venezuela … Made substitute appearances against Switzerland and South Africa, helping to keep clean sheets in both those games. 2005: Made one appearance in World Cup qualifying for the United States … Started and completed the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 win over Panama on Oct. 12. 2004: Scored his first career national team goal against Haiti on March 13. 2003: Made nine starts for the team in 2003, his most to date in a calendar year … Was a member of the squad which finished third at the 2003 Gold Cup … Played 810 career minutes for the U.S. team, a career high. 2002: Debuted in the opening match of the 2002 Gold Cup, starting in central defense in a 2-1 win against Korea … Lined up in central defense for the last match of 2002, a 2-0 win against El Salvador in Washington, D.C. 2001: Named to the substitutes list against Korea on Dec. 9 … Trained with the U.S. prior to the home qualifier against Costa Rica on April 25. 2000: Named to the substitute’s bench for the match against Mexico on Oct. 25.

U-23s: Had nine appearances with the U-23s, making eight starts and recording one goal and one assist … Started all six games in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, scoring a goal against Kuwait on Sept. 19, 2000. 

U-20’s: Part of the squad that took home the bronze at the Pan Am Games in August of 1999 … Member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team that lost in the Round of 16 at the 1999 World Youth Championship … Started all four of the matches with the U.S. posting a 2-2-0 record … Scored the game-winning goal, an 11th-minute strike against England in the tournament … Started in 16 of 18 U-20 matches in 1999, tallying one goal and three assists … Scored his first U-20 goal in a 3-1 win over Switzerland at the 1998 Paolo Valenti Tournament in Italy.

U-17s: Earned 15 caps as a member of the U-17 National Team, anchoring the defense at the 1997 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Egypt … First Appearance: Jan. 18, 2002, vs. Korea Republic … First Goal: March 13, 2004, vs. Haiti. 

COLLEGE: A two-year starter at the University of Maryland … Earned NSCAA Third Team All-America honors at the end of his sophomore season in 1999 … One of four players to start in all 20 games that season … Helped lead Terrapins to the Final Four in 1998 … Was one of three players to start in all 24 matches … Held opponents to 26 goals in Maryland’s 24 games.