Major League Soccer and the MLS Player's Union have announced an "agreement in principal" that will avoid a work stoppage for the first time in league history.
"We are pleased to finalize the framwork for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with our players" said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "We now enter our 20th season with enermous momentum with our new television partnerships, dynaic star players from the US, Canada and abroad, and two new expansion teams in New York City and Orland that will debut in front of more than 60,000 fans on Sunday in the Citrus Bowl. This agreeement 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."
As Bob Ley put it, a strike would "Break the needle on the stupid meter". With a new 600 million dollar TV deal from ESPN and Fox to think about, momentum from league growth, new player singings and a successful World Cup, lucrative new sponsorship deals and so on, the owners would have been reckless not to soften their hard line stance on free agency at some point.
Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and a deal was struck, though reports suggest some players are unhappy with the terms of the deal.
Some of the details have already come out.
-New CBA agreement is a 5-year deal
-Free agency eligibility for players 28 years old with 8 years of league experience
-Salary increases capped based on salary, so a player making less than 100K can earn a 25%, between 100K and 200K a 20% raise and over 200K a 15% raise.
- 15% overall increase in salary cap
-League minimum salary increased to $60,000, will go up every season
How does the new CBA agreement affect the Galaxy? Under the new agreement, Alan Gordon, Dan Gargan and Todd Dunivant would become free agent eligible, with Robbie Rogers eligible at the end of the 2015 season.
This tweet from Sebastian Salazar might explain how a deal was finalized this evening. Interesting...
Source: Based off #MLS last offer on Tuesday night, players voted 18 to 1 to strike. League was informed of strike vote this AM. #MLSCBA— Sebastian Salazar (@SebiSalazarCSN) March 5, 2015