Chivas USA acquires Agudelo, Califf in trades

CARSON, Calif.– Chivas USA acquired forward Juan Agudelo from the New York Red Bulls for defender Heath Pearce and allocation money and acquired defender Danny  Califf from Philadelphia, in exchange for midfielder  Michael Lahoud and allocation money.

Agudelo, 19, a product of the Red Bulls Academy, is in his second professional season. He has appeared in 33 matches including 13 as a starter, scoring 6 goals with the Red Bulls. The Red-and-White have traded away defender Heath Pearce, who appeared in 40 games (39 starts) during his tenure with Chivas USA. Per League and team policy, details of the contract were not revealed.

“I am certainly excited to have Juan Agudelo joining our team, he’s a dynamic young forward who has an incredible future ahead of him. The caveat is you have to give up an asset to get an asset, so in order to get a player like Juan you have to give up a very good player like Heath,” commented Chivas USA Head Coach Robin Fraser. “So we are sad to see him go but this is part of the business. I want to thank Heath for all he´s done for us in his time here and we wish him the best.”

Agudelo, 19, a Colombian-born forward, became the fourth youngest player in league history to start in the MLS Cup Playoffs when he started the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at San Jose, and became the youngest player in franchise history to record an assist in the playoffs in the second leg. Earned first cap for the senior United States National Team on Nov. 17, 2010 and scored the winning goal in a friendly against South Africa in Cape Town, becoming the youngest player to ever score for the United States senior national team. Prior to being called up by the senior national side, he featured for the U.S. Under-20 National Team. Helped lead the U-20’s to the 2010 Milk Cup Championship, scoring in the final on July 30, additionally represented the United States at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Califf, a veteran from California was signed by the Union on January 21, 2010 after rights were previously acquired from Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland on December 3, 2009. He has appeared in four matches, all as a starter for the Union in this 2012 season. The Red-and-White have traded midfielder Michael Lahoud, who appeared in 23 games (17 starts) in 2011, for Chivas USA, and has two appearances so far in 2012. Per League and team policy, details of the contract were not revealed.

“Obviously, losing Heath, our thoughts were to acquire a center back and we had the ability to get Danny Califf who’s a player who has played in a lot of places, he has some good experiences, he’s a very experienced and hard-nosed defender and again, as we said, to get an asset you have to give up an asset and the cost for this one was Michael [Lahoud],” commented Chivas USA Head Coach Robin Fraser. “Certainly Michael has been here for a while and we wish him the best and thank him for all that he did while he was here.”

Califf, 32, a Montclair, California native, served as captain of Aalborg BK of the Danish Superliga, and has 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. 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.

Michael Lahoud joined Chivas USA after being selected by the club in the first round (9th overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, and has made 39 appearances in two seasons with the club, including 29 starts, scoring once and adding four assists. A four-year starter at 2007 NCAA National Champion Wake Forest, Lahoud enjoyed a distinguished college career with the Demon Deacons, finishing with 14 goals and 20 assists in four seasons. Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone and moving to the Washington D.C. area at the age of three, Lahoud played both forward and midfield in his college career, but finished in a defensive midfield role. In 2011, Lahoud joined forces with the non-profit organization ‘Schools for Salone,’ charity that aims to help schools in Sierra Leone. For his efforts, Lahoud was named Chivas USA’s Humanitarian of the Year in 2011.