Major League Soccer has announced that the league has agreed in principle with the MLSPU for a new collective bargaining agreement. The deal is reported to run for five seasons.
"We are pleased to finalize the framework for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with our players," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber via release. "We now enter our 20th season with enormous momentum with our new television partnerships, dynamic star players from the US, Canada and abroad, and two new expansion teams in New York City and Orlando that will debut in front of more than 60,000 fans on Sunday in the Citrus Bowl. This agreement will provide a platform for our players, ownership and management to work together to help build Major League Soccer into one of the great soccer leagues in the world."
The main point of contention during negotiations had been the players request for unrestricted free agency. The league has agreed to free agency for players 28 and older who have 8 years MLS experience according to reports. The new CBA also raises the minimum salary from $36,500 to $60,000. The salary cap has also been raised but by how much is not yet known.
Not everyone was pleased with the deal however, as it was reported by Ives Galarcep that seven teams rejected the proposal. Kansas City, Real Salt Lake and New York City FC were part of the teams who voted against the deal.
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
With the deal done the season will kickoff this weekend. The Houston Dynamo have their first game of the season on Saturday against the Columbus Crew at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
All systems go. See you here on Saturday. A new era begins. Season 10. #ForeverOrange #ForeverONE pic.twitter.com/rf7KdsFtWl— Chris Canetti (@ChrisCanetti) March 5, 2015