Major League Soccer and the MLS players union avoided the first work stoppage in league history, reaching an agreement in principle Wednesday evening on a new collective bargaining agreement, sources with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.
Pending formal ratification by the members of the MLSPU, the deal allows the 2015 regular season to begin on time, starting with Friday’s tilt between the Chicago Fire and reigning MLS Cup champions the LA Galaxy.
The new CBA concludes a difficult negotiating period that began in earnest last December, and ended just two days before the start of the regular season. The last three days in particular involved some intense negotiations, with Tuesday’s session lasting deep into the night, and not concluding until 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
Details have yet to be confirmed, but the deal is believed to contain the first provision for limited free agency in the league’s history.
An announcement is expected to be made later on Wednesday night, sources said.
Strikes in pro sports never go well. It’s basically billionaires vs. millionaires which alienates their working class fan base and sponsors. Glad to see this worked out. Let’s go get that Cup now!
Not too many millionaire players in MLS. There are just two on the Sounders with 19 others making less than $100K.
Besides, this wasn’t really about money, it was about free agency, or lack thereof. The players union agreed to a CBA that now allows for free agency, but only after a player has put in EIGHT years in MLS (wonder if the union had to give up oranges at halftime for that “concession”).
Yes, and I don’t blame the owners for balking at free agency. I think this is a pretty fair deal. Free agency benefits players and the major market teams. Wouldn’t you love to get compensation for signing a free agent and get money, a 1st round draft pick and Lonnie Shelton???