MLS, Players Union Reach Deal On New Collective Bargaining Agreement

It’s game on for Major League Soccer in 2010.

In a teleconference at around 1 p.m., MLS and its players’ union announced the agreement on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement.

Details haven’t really been released yet, but it appears that the players won some concessions in reagrds to guaranteed contracts and player movement, but there still won’t be free agency or a change to the single-entity structure.

Check back soon for more details.

UPDATE (2:08 p.m.)

According to the Associated Press article…

Union head Bob Foose said a majority of players will receive guaranteed contracts for the first time and there will be increased player rights within the league when contracts expire.

“From our perspective, these negotiations were always about players’ rights,” Foose said.

And there’s this…

Management was opposed to free agency within MLS, which has negotiated all contracts on behalf of its teams since play began in 1996. MLS said players always had the option of signing with clubs overseas.

“Players will have greater rights at the expiration of their agreements but they will not be free agents within the league,” Garber said.

Instead, there will be a re-entry draft for players whose contracts end or options are declined.

“We think we have made some real improvements in players’ ability to move,” Foose said

39 thoughts on “MLS, Players Union Reach Deal On New Collective Bargaining Agreement”

  1. What great news! I wish the politicos in Washington DC could have heard the discussion on the conference call. Settling these things takes compromise on both sides.

    It’s going to be a great year for MLS and soccer in the US, starting tonight at the state of the art Red Bull Arena!

  2. i hope ur wrong about the free agency/singl entity structure. i mean i am on the players side since the bginning, but for the players to nearly make half the fans give up on mls and nearly causeing a strike only to not get what they want and allow the fat cats to reap at th expense of the players? who wrote this script? but nonetheless im glad thees actally a season

  3. It’s good that the season will be played. Hopefully in 5 years soccer will have a bigger footprint in our country and the MLS will be making enough money so they can institute single entity and free agency within the league.

  4. Yes, this is really great news. A strike would have been the worst thing for the MLS and US soccer. Baby steps is essential for the growth of a new league. I guarantee the MLS will continue to grow even more after this. After Donovan’s stint at Everton, World Cup, and everyone anticipating the first kick, this really will be a big season for MLS. I’m glad it’s finally going to happen, and with a new contract at that.

  5. I woke up to news of a new CBA and now I just found FSC in HD on Time Warner in San Diego (Ch. 805)…just in time for the opening of Red Bull Arena

  6. Fantastic news!!!

    It’s great to see that sanity has prevailed. It’s so important to keep the momentum of last year going through the World Cup and welcoming in Portalnd and Vancouver next spring.

    Can’t wait for Thursday.

  7. I love soccer. It is one of my life pasions.

    I rather have no soccer in North America than the complete misrepresentation of the world game that MLS is.

    My only hope of having a real soccer league now is the new NASL.I hope the do things right!

    This is a step that put us further away from the real league that we should have.

    For those of you MLS lovers, have a blast! enjoy fake as much as you can.

    Real soccer fans will not be happy with other than the real thing!

      1. I agree. I have a NASL team now, Miami FC. I’d take “fake” soccer in the form of an MLS team in a second. MLS may not be perfect but it’s the best league North America has ever had.

        I still don’t get why there is no free agency, I really don’t, but glad to see cooler heads prevailed and they got a deal done. A strike would have been terrible.

        1. I was just watching the Red Bulls vs Santos match. Sweet Jesus, they drove a NASCAR onto the pitch and Lindsey Vonn got out to bring in the game ball. Then watching the game the crowd was dead silent minus the “Supports Section”, they need to put the crowd mics in that section and turn up the volume and it might sound like a soccer match.

          1. It’s not my fault they sounded like they were watching tennis or golf. I’ll give it to them, they got the wave around the stadium a few times and they got loud when they scored.

    1. Don’t be so melodramatic.

      Just because the league structure kind of sucks, it doesn’t mean the players and coaches don’t work their asses off.

    2. Well I guess us fake soccer fans are happy then.

      Have fun, 36,000 fake fans in Rave Green on Thursday and
      GOOOOO fake SOUNDERS !!!

    3. I can’t quite go as far as you, Roger, but appreciate the sentiment.

      MLS owners could have run without a league for two seasons and lost less money than they would operating, then, they could have declared bankruptcy and fluttered away on golden parachutes.

      That’s why the players conceded so much: They can’t afford that hit at their salaries.

      A strike probably would have heightened interest in reform, but players can’t put their meagre incomes on the line on those thin hopes. USSF and MLS are prepared to march the single entity to the grave before they concede that the model is the antithesis of the game, and the reason their league struggles.

      When you put owners before supporters, you get MLS, a league that can’t tap into the average US fan. Their motiviations are many, but world class soccer is obviously not in the top 20.

  8. Man this is awesome.
    It is like the NCAA games that are on right now. Was it better if the 12 seed beat the 5 seed by 20, or on a last second shot ? Either way you wanted the 12 seed to win, but like the last second 3 pointer, the start of the MLS season being saved inside of a week just makes it that much more exciting.

    Is there a person out there, fake or not, that isn’t counting the minutes until this weekend ?
    If there is, don’t bother posting, save the bandwidth of all of us calling you a Eurosnob/soccer genius/moron.

  9. This whole “re-entry” draft seems a little weird. I mean, how much freedom does a re-entry draft really afford the players? But, hell, if the players are happy, I’m happy. Can’t wait for Thursday! And especially Saturday when the Fire smoke the Red Bulls in that gorgeous new stadium of theirs.

    1. I agree. The agreement is pretty odd and I can’t believe they argued for all of these months to finish here.

      At the end of the day, the big winner is us fans. Games start Thursday and that’s great news!

    2. The players did not win much of anything. The league could stop operating for two seasons and lose less money than they do keeping up the single entity charade.

      Players, at Starbucks wages, couldn’t afford two months off.

      So, they caved.

  10. The only “real” MLS teams Sounders, and in 2011 Timbers,Whitecaps, because they come from D2 the best league in the U.S. no single -entity and 100% passion.

  11. NASL1
    What planet are you from? The only “real” MLS teams are teh Sounder and in 2011 Timbers and Whitecaps because they come from “D2”, the best league in the US. You are talking about either USL or the current USSF sponsored 2010 league.

    The talent is clearly better in MSL than D2. If all you are going to do is blatently promote something that does not exist, then go for it, but you are wasting the time and efforts of a lot of folks on this website.

  12. If it doesn’t exist why did the Timbers beat the Sounders and the Rowdies beat Philadelphia Union in pre-season. who’s better?

    1. In MLS, quality of play is pretty far down on the list of priorities. Fifteen years in, it’s still all about survival, since we judge the health of our first division by how much money the league is making.

      We’re the only country that thinks this way.

  13. Dude:

    The Portland Timbers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies are part of the USSF Division II league. Your need to be out of your cave to see the sunlight.

    NASL is not a sanctioned league, and all you providing bad information.

    1. Kugle, the second division in the United States is USSF Division II in name only. And only for one season. The league is really USL and NASL, and that the “USSF Division II” name is only a temporary solution since the USL and NASL couldn’t agree.

      The Gaffer

      1. More evidence of the fundamental incompatibility of pyramids designed to incentivize owners to build the best clubs, and our system, in which leagues come before clubs are are always busy trying to kill each other off, because they are competition.

        Who benefits most from lower div leagues fragmenting and clubs dying?


        Only in our dysfunctional pyramid.

  14. USL basically has 3 teams in D2, the rest are teams from NASL…

    MLS fans always have excuses when their teams lose, look at CCL when the MLS teams lose it’s always the same excuse, it’s pre-season and MLS field reserve squads.

    Give me a break…their really isn’t a big gap between D2 and MLS.

    1. MLS excuses for CCL play are lame because they ignore the blatently obvious:

      The cornerstone of the league is imposed mediocrity via the single entity.

      Was it Garber who just said one of the things that the league was founded on was that nobody fights for players?

      MLS is truly run more like a circus than a soccer league. This sounds like a negative attack, but it couldn’t be more true.

  15. It’s a pre-season friendly. When Chelsea come to the US in mid-July and gets beaten by an in-form MLS team no one actually believes that means Chelsea is “worse.”

    It’s also soccer. Leeds can beat Man utd on a given day. Are we saying Leeds is “better” other than on that very day?

  16. Well in Leeds case they can always get promoted to EPL, but if this happened here, in 5 years you would see 5 NASL teams in MLS and 5 MLS teams in D2.

  17. . Sweet Jesus, they drove a NASCAR onto the pitch and Lindsey Vonn got out to bring in the game ball. Then watching the game the crowd was dead silent minus the “Supports Section”, they need to put the crowd mics in that section and turn up the volume and it might sound like a soccer match.

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