Danny Califf is going back to California.

At his weekly news conference Wednesday at PPL Park in Chester, Union boss Peter Nowak ended the speculation surrounding the stalwart defender and team captain.

Pending Major League Soccer approval and other paperwork, the 32-year-old Califf, a California native who started his pro career with the Galaxy, is headed back to Los Angeles via a trade to Chivas USA in exchange for a player to be named and cash.

"We are still in the process of concluding [the deal]," Nowak said. "I did inform Danny, and after Saturday we received another offer. He was here talking to me and preparing to embrace the whole situation.

"I think he knew at some point it was going to be time to go home and go back to California, and we decided to conclude this offer."

Nowak said that there will be a different dynamic in leadership responsibilities in the locker room, but that other players can fill the roles.

Califf, who has been hampered by knee and hamstring issues since the season began, played his last match for the Union in their 1-0 loss to Seattle on May 5. Califf's form has noticeably declined since he underwent offseason knee surgery in December. In what looks to be a younger, faster Union defensive set, it appears the technical staff found it difficult to figure out where Califf might fit.

"I don't believe we changed a lot with this," Nowak said. " . . . I think for us it's important to just move forward and play the way we want to play, which is more offensive and taking more risks."

Open Cup date set. In their first-ever home date in the U.S. Open Cup, the Union will face either the Brooklyn Italians of the National Premier Soccer League or the Rochester Rhinos of USL Pro in a third-round matchup at PPL Park at 7:30 p.m. May 29.

Pfeffer, Steffen called up. Midfielder Zach Pfeffer of Dresher, and Union Academy member Zackary Steffen of Downingtown have been called up by the U.S. under-18 men's national team for the four-team 2012 Lisbon International Tournament, May 23 to 26 in Portugal.

The U-18s will travel Thursday. They will play a friendly against Sporting Lisbon on Sunday before kicking off tournament play against Poland on May 23. The U.S. then will face Slovakia on May 24 and host Portugal on May 26.

Contact Kerith Gabriel at gabrielk@phillynews.com.
This article contains information compiled by Inquirer staff.