MLS Avoids Work Stoppage After Agreeing to New Playing Terms

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 07:  Captain Robbie Keane #7 of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates on the hoists over his head the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy after the Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution 2-1 in the 2014 MLS Cup at StubHub Center on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Major League Soccer players looked like they were set to strike prior to this coming season, but a new CBA has been agreed prior to the campaign's start on Friday.

Continue for updates.

New CBA Confirmed Ahead of MLS Opener

Wednesday, March 4

The MLS and Major League Soccer Players Union have struck a new deal, revealed via an official statement by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, per MLSsoccer.com:

We are pleased to finalize the framework for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with our players.We now enter our 20th season with enormous momentum with our new television partnerships, dynamic star players from the US, Canada and abroad, and two new expansion teams in New York City and Orlando that will debut in front of more than 60,000 fans on Sunday in the Citrus Bowl.

This agreement will provide a platform for our players, ownership and management to work together to help build Major League Soccer into one of the great soccer leagues in the world.

Friday's curtain-raiser between Chicago Fire and Los Angeles Galaxy will now go ahead as planned.

MLS Players Threaten Strike Over Labor Dispute

Wednesday, Feb. 25 

As reported by Sam Cunningham of Mail Online, the MLS Players Union was previously locked in discussions regarding playing terms and threatened a boycott if the issue wasn't resolved quickly. 

Cunningham elaborated on the situation in his piece:

But despite remaining in talks for several months, it is understood the two parties are not even close to coming to agreement on the season ahead.

The MLSPU want players to have the option of becoming free agents and to increase their current salary cap.

Sources in America have indicated that there is a very real possibility that if an agreement is not reached then players will be forced not to play for their clubs when the league is supposed to start on March 6.

The news arguably couldn't have come at a worse time for the American top flight. The league had recently announced a partnership with Sky Sports to broadcast games in the UK, and the prospect of the campaign being delayed was far from ideal as they looked to launch the division to a broader, global audience.

Sky Sports confirmed the news of the agreement on Twitter:

Sky Sports @SkySports

Sky Sports has won the rights to broadcast exclusively live @MLS for the first time: http://t.co/vqCwSeCuwQ http://t.co/0o2a2EGsyA

As noted by Joe Prince-Wright of ProSoccerTalk, the previous collective bargaining agreement ran out on Jan. 31.

With new teams, iconic players poised to join and a new television deal, the upcoming MLS season is one of the most hotly anticipated in years.


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