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MLS, Players Union agree to push negotiation deadline to Feb. 12


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.


  1. I really wish FIFA would step in and do something to make the MLS behave like other leagues, but I feel that FIFA doesn’t give 2 $#1+s about the MLS

  2. Reminds me of a certain Cold War between a “free” country and a “restrictive” country.

    A bit shocked the fans haven’t done more to support the players. Saying that, I am a fan and haven’t done anything either but I think for the player especially, seeing a unified fan base publicly supporting them would be a huge boost to their efforts.

  3. Ives, I don’t understand how you can claim, “neither side is interested in working under the old CBA.”

    What am I missing – its my understanding that current CBA grossly favors the MLS owner’s – why would they want to change the CBA – and if they really do, what additional powers are they seeking to gain?

    (SBI-Billy, I’m not “claiming” a thing, I’m stating what is going on based on the information I have been given. Owners don’t want the current CBA to stay in place because waivers applied to it are expiring, which basically means the old CBA won’t quite be the old CBA.)

  4. Assuming this CBA lasts around 4 years like the previous CBA, I don’t think the negotiations in 2014 will be any easier. Especially considering the MLS will have 40 teams by then.

  5. I think MLS’s whole point on the matter is Free Agency drives up prices, and this can be unsustainable, yes their is a hard cap but if Player A has a deal with Kansas City but he negotiates with Seattle for more money, because Kansas City can’t afford the more money then they are going to loose players left and right, A full out Free Agency can’t happen till every team is on solid ground and you can’t say that now. I say limit it to guys coming back and guys that where waived. Even though I think waived guys are free to sign with whomever if they don’t get picked in the expansion draft so we might just be talking about nothing here but thats the logic behind not wanting it. For Prime example you can look at clubs not in our league, Everton, they can’t afford a bidding war, so they go for loans or guys on the cheap, because of this they can’t attract star talent and they most likely loose their best players because everyone wants a raise, but the funds are their to support a wage increase, so they sell the player and use those funds to make the players that are their happy and to sign another cheap prospect its cyclical and its not going to change the situation until the team itself makes more money, same thung for MLS.

  6. I say give them limited free agency, if you get cut or if a player wants to come back to the league they can talk to an individual team and not go through the allocation process, but I am 100% against guaranteed contracts they are a laggard on your financials and make absolutely no sense if I guy can’t do his job there is no reason to keep paying him, I’m looking at you berbatov! anyways. I think the players union realizes that the negative press a month ago really hurt their stance.

  7. this isn’t what the players want though. There’s a load of players out there. If the lowest salary goes to 80K they aren’t going to get more money, the teams will get different players.

    I think it’s something that should happen, but I don’t think salary is the sticking point.

  8. I think Mike is right.

    The owners like the current arrangement because they can dictate salaries to the players. Players have no leverage.

    The current structure is bad for soccer and MLS. It discourages players from playing here.

    MLS doesn’t need the reserve clause — all it needs is a solid and enforced salary cap. That will protect the league from going NASL(1970s).

    A limited free agency system does not have to threaten single-entity at all. Garber is fighting an old war from NFL days that is unimportant, and even counter-productive for MLS.

    I’m with the players.

  9. I like your comments Mike and can’t understand it myself but there are still off season deals happening but there would be a lot more like DC trading a draft pick and Fred to Philly for the rights to Troy Perkins as an example. The issue might be that the DPs would then become a bidding war and the owners could not handle that. Imagine Landon Donovan a month ago and there are 5 MLS teams bidding on him. He would have made a lot more than 9 mil.

    I think this will eventually happen because due to the recent great expansions and good original fanbases in place all across the country it is becoming more and more necessary to give it that national attention we all hope for.

    Hope they work out a nice CBA soon for both sides so we can move on for another 5-8 years.

  10. Everyone please tell me if I’m nuts or not (I’m ok with you telling me just hear me out.) I actually think free agency would be great for the owners and I can’t understand why they are so against it, Why?? because it would keep MLS in the headlines during the long off season. A great example of this is baseball. In the dead of winter while watching ESPN they broke away from their program to announce the Matt Holiday had resigned with St Louis. Even though it was December his signing was the story of the day: not football or basketball but a baseball signing! MLS has no ‘hot stove’ season and I think it suffers greatly from it. MLS fans in the off-season are starved for news about their teams and the league (one only has to check this site or the countless team blogs and message boards) We are always looking for something and for much of the off season there is nothing.

    Just picture MLS with free agency folks could be talking and writing about such subjects as: Who will the Red Bulls sign to help fill the new stadium? Will Findley re-sign with RSL or take the big offer Seattle has on the table? You get the picture it will create excitement and news something MLS lacks deeply in the off-season. All for free.

    The cherry on top is if there is a salary cap in place it won’t cost the owners anymore money. If the cap is set at 2.6 million well then owners can and will only spend 2.6 million unlike baseball. It will just make them more creative with their budget. Ok, let me know if I’m nuts.

  11. The biggest issues I think the players have is free agency and guaranteed contracts.

    If a player gets cut they get no money from then on. If they’re living on 30K a year it can be quite a financial shock.

    The other is they want to be free to negotiate with other teams at the end of a contract. If John Doe’s contract runs out with Seattle he cannot just go sign with Toronto. Toronto has to trade for his “rights” and then sign him. Players wanna be able to sign direct.

  12. I don’t think it is unfair that the players have the right to become a free agent if they are waived by their club or are out of contract. It is stupid that a player can be dropped by a team, but cant go out and shop for a new team that needs his services. “Oh no we don’t want you or to pay you, but we are going to make sure no one else can have you either.”

  13. Well, when the clubs start making money, the players will start making more….are the clubs making money now? I think a strike or a lockout would have a bad effect on soccer. It took steroids for baseball to comeback from its lockout, not sure what the equivalent would be for soccer…maybe Raul-like Oxygen Sleeping Chambers

  14. The Commercial Brokers Association (CBA) is a member owned cooperative which has provided commercial real estate multiple listing services to its members since 1977.

  15. CBA is not to be confused with CYA.

    CBA stands for Collective Bargaining Agreement. It’s the agreement between the players’ union and the league, concerning the rules that will govern all player contracts and work rules. If you want to know what’s in the current MLS CBA, I suggest you see if you can find a copy online.

    CBA also used to be the Continental Basketball Association, but that’s neither here nor there


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