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Philadelphia captain Danny Califf on trading shelf

Chivas USA v Philadelphia Union

CHESTER, PA- JUNE 25: Danny Califf #4 of the Philadelphia Union and Justin Braun #17 of Chivas USA battle for the ball at PPL Park on June 25, 2011 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Union won 3-2. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

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I’m sure there’s a broader personnel plan in place at PPL Park – but honestly, it’s a little hard to tell sometimes.

Word comes today that captain Danny Califf is on the trading block. Union coach Peter Nowak and club sporting director Diego Gutiérrez both confirmed as much following Sunday’s 3-2 loss to New York.

On one hand, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise. He’s played in just four games this year. And at age 32, Califf (left in the picture) doesn’t have tons of tread left on the tires.

Plus, that goofy situation in March was certainly a “heads-up” that something was wrong. Califf was a surprise scratch for one match – and was quite surprised to hear that he was left out of the lineup due to a knee injury that he didn’t know he had.

Yep … happens to us all the time.

So, things clearly aren’t all Jiffy Pop and Twizzlers between player and club. And yet, the defense and the team overall needs leaders, and could sure use tutors for all those teenagers and young 20-somethings that fill up the Union roster.

The latest reports say Chivas USA is the most likely destination for the former U.S. international. That would get Califf closer to his Southern California roots, at least.

Either way, this is Nowak going “all in” following past, unpopular personnel shifts around PPL. Sebastian Le Toux’s trade to Vancouver left the most scarring.

Nowak and Co. certainly have the right to do as they please, roster-wise. But sitting next-to-last in the East with a 2-6-1 mark (1-3-1 at home) is not the kind of supporting evidence that tends to get fans in your corner.