The decisions come just weeks after all three players started a game in the Eastern Conference Championship series – Chabala the first leg and Driver (pictured above) and Weaver in the second – that ended the Dynamo’s season in a 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
With their options declined, the players are free to negotiate with other clubs in and out of the league. Houston can still work out new deals to keep the trio with the team.
“They have some options under the collective bargaining agreement that could potentially lead them elsewhere,” Canetti told MLSsoccer.com. “Their status with the team is contractually uncertain at this time, but we’ll see how it plays out over time.”
Of the three, the player who will draw the most interest from Houston and abroad is Driver. The winger was signed from Scottish club Heart of Midlothian on loan early this year and started 20 games for the Dynamo. He got off to a hot start, scoring three goals before May 8, his total for the season.
His season slowed, in part due to a bout with Achilles tendonitis. He returned in August and played a key role for the Dynamo in the absence of internationals Brad Davis and Boniek Garcia. With Davis and Garcia likely tied up with international duty leading to, and possibly including, the World Cup in 2014, the club could look to bring Driver back into the fold. However, that will come at a lower salary if he does return.
Weaver also played a role in Houston’s 2013. The tall target forward appeared in 22 games, including six starts. He scored in back-to-back games in late July/early August, which broke a two-year goalless streak for the six-year MLS veteran. With a crowded forward group coming back that includes Will Bruin, Giles Barnes, Omar Cummings and Jason Johnson, the Dynamo will likely look to move in another direction.
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Chabala, an outside back who started his MLS career with the Dynamo in 2006, played in just four games (one regular season start). Houston was the 29-year-old’s third team in the last two seasons.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.