As expected, Mike Chabala has made his return to the Houston Dynamo. In the clubs first ever media day, Chabala's return was announced as all the 2013 players modeled the new jerseys for the upcoming season.
With Corey Ashe listed as the only option at left back, Dominic Kinnear knew he'd have to find at least another option for back up. Chabala was expendable for D.C. United with a couple players getting ahead of him on the depth chart, so Chabala went through the Re-Entry Draft process.
Chabala wasn't picked up by anyone, but found himself training with the club he started with this preseason. Chabala looked at home from the first practice and with his experience at left back in a host of reserve and MLS starting jobs and with Dominic Kinnear's system, it was a no brainer to bring back the fan favorite.
I took a tour of the Dynamo locker room prior to the actual press event today and was pleased to see Chabala's jersey hanging in his locker. While I've said several times over the last few days that his signing was imminent, the jersey hanging their cemented that thought.
With Chabala's signing, SuperDraft pick Jimmy Nealis became the odd man out and was cut from the team after the Carolina Challenge Cup. Nealis impressed Kinnear in his time in Houston, but ultimately Chabala locked up the spot.
In addition, it appears Anthony Arena has won a spot with the Dynamo as well. The centerback has appeared in the majority of the preseason action and will provide depth for the defense.
Earlier today, his Twitter account was updated with "professional player with the Houston Dynamo." Apparently, both players used social media to update their status prior to being formally announced. Chabala updated his Facebook background to BBVA Compass Stadium last week, prompting many to assume the eventual return home. Sign of the times.
With the addition of Chabala and Arena, the defense appears ready for an action packed year that will see the club play at least 41 matches.
What are your thoughts on Chewy's return to Houston, Arena's signing, and Nealis' exit?