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Still no agreement in place as CBA talks continue

Garber new logo by Noah K Murray USA TODAY

Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports


Talks are entering crunch time, and negotiations are continuing between MLS and the Players Union.

The two sides negotiated until late Tuesday night and talks have continued into Wednesday. The principle negotiations still revolve around free agency, with ESPN reporting that there has been some movement regarding the league’s latest proposal.

The league has reportedly offered limited free agency for players that are over 28 years of age and have spent at least eight years in the league. Under that agreement, players would only be able to earn a salary increase limited to 10 percent when moving to a new team.

Goal USA reported Wednesday morning that the Players Union did hold a vote to strike, although the result of the vote was unclear. Talks between the two sides were reportedly seen in a positive light in the afternoon before taking a negative turn in the evening.

The MLS season is set to kick off Friday with a matchup between the Chicago Fire and LA Galaxy. The Fire have traveled to Los Angeles despite the recent impasse in negotiations.


What are your thoughts on the recent developments? How do you see talks playing out?

Share your thoughts below.


    • I think the players knew there biggest threat was to blowing the opening weekend. After that the league might have started taking stuff back off the table and just waited them out.

  1. It is most likely going to end up being 5 years, because almost every player signs a 4 year contract. MLS is proposing that you can be a free agent after your 2nd contract anyway. So, it really doesn’t matter whether it is 5 or 8 to MLS honestly.

    Second, I knew before anything that if they gave free agency, they would put a cap on salary increase. Even I am surprised it was that low, i.e. 10%. My guess is the union could get the increase up to 25%.

    It is a step in the right direction to allow players free movement.

  2. if that’s all they offer it doesn’t really amount to free agency in my mind. what percentage of pro mls players play past 28? and 10%? cmon…

    • I think the union might be able to live with 28 and 8 if they can get a 5 year CBA, because that’s bound to go down to something like 26 and 6 or 25 and 5 next time. 10% seems obviously problematic to me though. If a guy on 60k breaks out in years 3 and 4 of his deal, he can only go up to 66 instead of 100? Come on.

      • 10% is honestly just stupid of the league. A guy in the scenario I described above is better off moving to the NASL.

      • Then do it. If you want free agency, get out of MLS and go to NASL. Problem is, Union = I can’t get more from anyone else and my current employer won’t give me what I want so I strike/threaten to strike. All of these players can have free agency, problem is (wait for it)…no one else will pay them what they are making now. Sooooo, I am topped out monetarily based on my skill, but I still want more. NASL already went that route and crashed.

      • MLS is not going to crash on this, because the salary cap is still in place.

        NOBODY is asking for the cap to go away. The Owners have absolute cost certainty still. And there’s no guarantee a player gets a raise going in FA. So the idea that every player going into FA is suddenly the subject of a bidding war is absurd.

  3. At the end of the day rules don’t really mean much for MLS They’ll always come up some kind of BS that lets them do whatever they want. They like to keep it as shady as possible.

  4. if they want to have both parameters, i think 25+ years old with 5 years in the league should be enough. ideally, it would be nice to see the CBA require ONE of the two. for example, either you are 25+ OR you have been in the league for 5 years.

    there should also be no 10% max salary increase stipulation. that HAS to go no matter what. also, the CBA should be no longer than 5 years. this 8 year nonsense is crazy.

    • “there should also be no 10% max salary increase stipulation. that HAS to go no matter what. ”

      Don’t you get that the entire concept of MLS is to avoid bidding wars, hence such a cap is necessary?

      • No. That concept is really NOT necessary. Because all of these players are still subject to the hard salary cap, which the players have not tried to remove.

        So there’s still cost certainty for the owners, unless they choose to dive in the DP pool. Though even there, w/ a max of 3, it’s not lavish unless you’re the one of the teams demanding they be true ‘name’ players.

        5 years or 25 and out of contract should be more than sufficient.

      • yes, obrien, i think EVERYONE gets that. but a max increase of 10%?! that is absolutely ridiculous. if a club doesn’t want to pay the market value, then they don’t have to! this idea that these massive bidding wars are going to take place is a myth.

        as someone mentioned above, 50% would be an acceptable cap. at that point the player could potentially get a good increase but without causing anyone to break the bank. 10% is a joke and to think that is a fair salary increase “cap” is criminal.

  5. They should try to do something like MLB where its years since signing, plus games/days with the big league club. Something like 8 years since signing a professional contract, or 150 games on the gameday roster ( which turns out to be ~5 years of playing every day). That way when the 18 year olds come in and spend a couple years trying to break through they could be free agents when they are 23/24 and capitalize on their earnings, and the original MLS team at least got 5 years of service from the player they developed

    • That is exactly what I propose.

      5 years of paying your dues! AND a maximum 50% raise from the new club.

      por ejemplo

      Rookie contract of 100K for 5 years EARNS YOU Free agency and 6th year pay at 150K max and then upward from there …

      Either they will be worth it (and more) or they need to move on to create space for up and coming players.

      • Not keen on the whole limiting their increased wage. Time limits like 5 years I could live with, but if you have played out your contract you should be completely free to do what you want.

      • I completely agree BUT MLS’s chief concern is wage management via, lack if free agency and cap. If they are gonna bend in one area you can be sure they will seek a compromise in another area.

  6. that’s the right track but will have to be sweeter I would bet, we’ll see. nice to see this movement at least. I think it’s the right formula, now they need to agree on the variables


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