Major League Soccer and the Players Union have agreed to extend the deadline for negotations of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to Feb. 12, 11 days past the original Feb. 1 deadline, MLS announced on Thursday.
"While we still have areas of disagreement, the talks have been constructive and both parties believe it makes sense to continue to work hard to reach agreement," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a league-released statement. "The extension provides both MLS and the players the opportunity to continue our discussions while clubs are in training camps preparing for the 2010 MLS season."
"Both the Players Union and MLS have concluded that a new agreement will not be reached by February 1, but we have agreed to continue to talk and we will be meeting over the next two weeks to determine if a new agreement can be reached," Players Union Executive Director Bob Foose said in the same MLS statement. "In the meantime, MLS Players are reporting to training camp, and preparations for the 2010 season will continue."
What should be made of the extension? Not much really. The Players Union never intended strike on February 1 while MLS wasn't ready to pull the trigger on a lockout when it could simply extend the negotiations. With the season seven weeks away, there is some time to hammer out an agreement, but the clock is certainly ticking and neither side is interested in working under the old CBA.