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Soccer: Califf, Philadelphia Union Set For Home Opener vs. Vancouver

(Danny Califf in Houston.  Photo provided)

(Danny Califf in Houston. Photo provided)

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CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – After a 1-0 win in the season opener last Saturday in Houston, the Philadelphia Union are now looking ahead to their home opener this Saturday against the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps.

Defender Danny Califf scored the Union goal in the win over the Dynamo, which gave an early indication that this team has improved from a year ago when it both struggled to win on the road and hold opposing teams off the scoreboard for 90 minutes.

“I said this after the game, but I think last year when we went down to Houston and we got the win, it was a really big turning point for us in the season,” Califf told KYW Newsradio. “It was kind of a point where we really  found our identity a little bit.  And I think coming here in the opening game (this season), away from home, and getting a victory — it wasn’t a pretty victory, but it was a hard fought, gut-it-out victory —  I think we’ve taken another step as a team and as a franchise, and I think it’s a harbinger of things to come.”

Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Danny Califf in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

Vancouver picked up a win in its franchise debut, 4-2, over Toronto FC, and they impressed Califf in that performance.

“To be honest,” Califf says, “when I first heard the score I was quite surprised.  Not normally do teams in their opening season come out and have such a prolific start.  But after watching the highlights, they’ve got some dangerous weapons up front.  And they’ve got some quick, clever guys in the midfield that can make the final pass, so they’re going to be a good squad.”

The Union will be looking for win number two, something that in their inaugural season last year they didn’t pick up until May 29th.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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