HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 03: Luiz Camargo #17 of the Houston Dynamo strikes the ball against Danny Califf #4 of the Philadelphia Union in the second leg of the playoffs on November 3, 2011 at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Dynamo won 1 to 0 and will play the Sporting K.C. Sunday, November 6, 2011. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Rumors were abound this weekend about the possibility of the Philadelphia Union swapping Freddy Adu for FC Dallas' Brek Shea, but nothing came of it. However, it was another possible Union related player move that was discussed over the weekend that will more likely happen.
According to multiple sources, the Union's Chief Executive Officer and President flew out to California to talk to a former member of the team for a future role on it.
"Nick Sakiewicz was in Los Angeles to talk to Danny Califf," a source close to the situation said to the Brotherly Game. "He met with Califf and they discussed the possibility of him returning to Philly as a coach."
Multiple sources with knowledge of the discussions told the Brotherly Game that the chat between Sakiewicz and Califf was the culmination of the center back's post-playing career aspirations.
"Califf was very interested in becoming John Hackworth's assistant coach [while still with the Union]," one of the sources said. "He was hoping to get the opportunity to do it in the event that Nowak was let go."
Hackworth, previously the assistant coach to Nowak, was named the interim head coach after Nowak was fired. He kept the coaching staff in place, except for the dismissals of Sporting Director Diego Gutierrez and Youth Technical Director Alecko Eskandarian.
The decision by Nowak to trade Califf did not go over well with Hackworth. Hackworth told Extra Time Radio that the trade harmed the team at the time, along with other choices when it came to veteran players.
"I didn't agree with some of those decisions. We had some veterans here and we made some moves with guys that were important to this club from day one. We decided as a staff to go in a different direction. Now we have to make sure that the veterans in the room step up."
When it came down to it over the Califf trade, Hackworth accepted Nowak's decision, but said to Extra Time Radio, on June 19, that it was far from a favorable one, in his opinion, for the team.
"Losing Danny Califf, he was your captain, he was really important to the first part, the inception of our club," Hackworth said. "Not only his ability to play on the field, but his leadership off of the field, those things are tough to replace."
The relationship between Hackworth and Califf has been described as "buddy-buddy" to the Brotherly Game.
The only apparent hitch to Califf coming back to Philadelphia was that the current Chivas USA defender does not want to end his playing career yet. One of the sources with knowledge of the talks between Califf and Sakiewicz noted that the 30-year-old wasn't sure about whether or not this offseason would bring him back to the Union as a coach, or if it would just be another in his long playing career.
"It won't be this year," a source said. "He's not ready to retire yet."
The Union declined to respond to this story when asked for comment.