Toronto FC defender Danny Califf announced Friday that he is retiring after 14 years as a professional football player. Califf will now take on a scouting role for Toronto FC.
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"Today, I am announcing my retirement from soccer. It is a very emotional day for me. My family has moved around the world to watch me play the sport I love. Now, I get to watch my three kids play the same sport that has given me so much," said Danny Califf. "Thanks to my family and friends for their love and support. Also to my teammates, and to my fans, the people who really make playing worth it."
Califf, 33, originally signed with Toronto FC on December 14, 2012 after being selected in the second stage of the MLS Re-Entry process. Califf appeared in 234 career matches in Major League Soccer (MLS) spanning ten seasons in the league. He began his career with the LA Galaxy in 2000, after he was selected sixth overall in the MLS SuperDraft from the University of Maryland.
“I’m sorry Danny is unable to carry on playing at the level he would like, and totally respect his decision to retire. He’s been a very good player and should be proud of what he’s accomplished,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne. “I’m very pleased that he will continue to be a part of our organization and assist us in building our team for the future.”
Califf enjoyed his most successful period during his five seasons with the Galaxy, winning the CONCACAF Champions Cup (2000), scoring the game winning goal in the final of the U.S. Open Cup (2001), and the MLS Cup and MLS Supporters Shield (2002). Califf was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes ahead of the 2005 season. With San Jose, Califf was named to the MLS Best XI and won the MLS Supporters Shield with the Earthquakes.
He left MLS to sign with Danish club Aalborg, where he spent two seasons and captained the side to the Danish Superliga title during the 2007-08 season. Following the championship campaign he signed with Midtjylland of Denmark and remained with the club until re-joining MLS in 2009. Califf was dealt to the Philadelphia Union ahead of the club’s inaugural season in 2010, after the Union acquired his rights from the Houston Dynamo. He was named the first captain in club history and remained with the Union before being traded to Chivas USA on May 17, 2012.
During his career, Califf earned 23 international caps for the United States. He was part of the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup winning squad, and was a member of the 2003 squad. Califf also played for the U.S. at the 2003 Confederations Cup and the 2007 Copa America. At the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Califf started in every match for the United States, where the team finished in fourth place, the highest in the country’s history.