If there is a collective sigh of relief from the supporters in the USA that have an MLS club, then you are extremely thankful of the progress that’s been made. Monday, February 1st is no longer the date to be feared as both the League & the players union have agreed to push it back another two weeks. This is positive news from both parties as it seems that they are near a resolution.
“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 an agreement,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “This 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.”
I believe the first showing of good faith came from the player’s side as the union told them to remain at their respective training camps during the pre-season. Red Bull NY is currently at La Manga Spain participating in the annual pre-season tournament. “Both the Players Union and MLS have concluded that a new agreement will not be reached by February 1st, 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,” MLS Players Union rep Bob Foose said in a statement. “In the meantime, MLS Players are reporting to training camp, and preparations for the 2010 season will continue.”
This to me shows that the league and the players are allowing progress to work in this first re-negotiating of their C.B.A., because we all know that neither side can afford a strike or a lockout that will hamper the progress of growth within the league as well as the National Team as some of the players on the potential final roster for this summer’s World Cup don’t play in Europe and it could ruin an eventual transfer across the pond.
But if you read the comments of Canadian International & Houston Dynamo Keeper Pat Onstad on the CBC Sports website it sounds like that most of the problems that were infront of both sides have been solved. “Both sides have conceded certain things that are important to each party and now we only have two or three major stumbling blocks, which is a lot better where we were two weeks ago when we had 15 or 16.”
At this present time I am feeling very proud of the current accomplishments from both sides. They are at the table and hammering out the final workings of a new C.B.A., you can see they want progress to continue. Until the final document has been printed for both sides and including us the supporters, we won’t know what went in favor to whom. Still this is a huge step forward and hopefully certain rules and regulations have either scaled down or erased completely.
Out of so many hurdles this league had to go thru since their inaugural season in 1996, I felt that this real test of labor negotiations was the biggest of them all. There are still many more hurdles to go thru, but the next big one will be when this new C.B.A. that could be finished and signed soon runs out and re-negotiations start up again.