With MLS teams competing the the Quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, Major League Soccer was mere hours away from a possible strike by the MLS Players Union. The previous Collective Bargaining Agreement technically expired already, but the league and the players union allowed preseason to continue until a deal was reached. With just over 48 hours to go before the LA Galaxy and the Chicago Fire were to kick off the MLS season, the two sides came to an agreement.
The complete details of the deal are still unknown, but we will have soccer this weekend, with MLS kicking off it's 20th season. The biggest sticking point for players was free agency, which they had never had before. The reported deal allows players to become free agents either after hitting the age of 28 and/or (we aren't sure which yet) 8 years of service.
Sounding like 28-8 threshold held, but with slightly higher increase for players switching teams. Not full blown free agency but something— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) March 5, 2015
The deal is once again a five year deal, meaning the league will be going through this exercise again in 2020.
Players kept CBA to 5 years. Is that a big win or fool's gold owners gave while securing modest cap increase and capped "free agency"?— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) March 5, 2015
Probably the most interesting part of the news is how the players voted. Of all 20 teams, 7 of them (the players of said teams) voted against the deal presented. Among those, was the New York Red Bulls.
So #MLSCBA deal is done. Hearing lots of players unhappy w/final deal. I'm told 7 teams voted against it (KC, RSL, RBNY, NYC, MON, FCD, COL)— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) March 5, 2015
We'll have to wait to see how the deal shakes out for both sides. For now, it's on to the business of soccer, which one of the Red Bulls' representatives at negotiations is happy to get back to.
Stress level past 4 days --> . Sleep level past 4 days --> . Hard to please everyone but relieved it's over. See you in KC.— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) March 5, 2015