Two More Former Huskies In Town To Face Sounders

Oct. 28, 2009

SEATTLE - A week after former Husky men's soccer player George John was in town with FC Dallas to face the Seattle Sounders FC in the final match of the regular season, two more former Huskies will play in Qwest Field when the Houston Dynamo take on the Sounders Thursday evening in the MLS West Semifinals.

Mike Chabala, who played for UW from 2002-05, and Craig Waibel, who was a Husky from 1994-98, will both be on the pitch Thursday when the Dynamo and Sounders face off in the first of two matches in the home-and-home playoff series.

Chabala is a fourth-year outside back expected to start on Thursday after playing on the reserve team his first three years. He has appeared in 15 matches this season, chipping in three assists. Chabala, a Fresno, Calif., native, was an NSCAA third team All-American and first team All-Far West Region selection while with the Huskies. He was also named second team All-Pac 10 in 2004 and honorable mention All-Pac 10 and All-Academic in 2003.

Waibel, also a defender, is an MLS veteran and an original member of the Dynamo franchise which started in 2006. He has appeared in 18 games and has one goal this season. Waibel, a Portland native, was originally drafted by the Sounders in the first round of 1999 A-League Draft with the 17th selection overall after a successful career with the Huskies. He played for the Sounders for two years before moving to the MLS when he was signed by the Colorado Rapids. He scored four goals and registered one assist during his career at Washington, with all his points coming his senior year. He started 42 of his 56 career games and was named first-team All-Mountain Pacific Soccer Federation and third-team All-Far West as a senior.

The Sounders held the upper hand against the Dynamo this season, winning once and earning a draw the other time the teams faced each other. In the Sounders 2-1 win in July, Chabala made what appeared to be an impressive goal-line clearance on the first goal, but the linesman and referee ruled a goal for the Sounders' Fredy Montero.

Thursday's game takes place on Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field at 7 p.m. For tickets, click here. The match will also air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. The second leg of the series will take place Nov. 8 in Houston at a time to be determined.

Conference Semifinal series are conducted in a home-and-home, aggregate-goal format. The lower seeded team hosts the first game. The team that scores the most goals in the home-and-home series advances to the single-elimination Conference Championship. If the teams are tied after 180 minutes in the Conference Semifinal series, a 30-minute extra time period (divided into two 15-minute periods) will be played, followed by kicks from the penalty spot, if necessary.

The winners of the four series advance to a single-game Conference Championships that will determine the MLS Cup Finalists. The team with the higher seed between the two finalists will host the game, between November 12 and November 15. MLS Cup 2009 will be played at Seattle's Qwest Field on November 22 at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Seattle is the first expansion team in 11 years and the third overall to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs. Chicago and Miami each qualified in 1998, with the Fire going on to win the championship.

Houston is a two-time MLS Cup champion, winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

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