MLS and the Players' Union failed to agree upon a new CBA before last night's deadline, but for now, there will be no work stoppage. Here is the Union's statement:
The Major League Soccer Players Union (the "Union")today announced
that the collective bargaining agreement between the Union and Major
League Soccer ("MLS") will not be extended past the February 25
deadline previously set by the Union and MLS.
"Effective at midnight tonight, our collective bargaining agreement
with MLS will expire," said Union Executive Director Bob Foose. "We
expect that negotiations with MLS will resume at some point, there
simply hasn't been enough progress made in the negotiations to date to
warrant an extension of the old agreement. We have advised our players
to keep working for the time being, but as of Friday they will be doing
so without a CBA. In the meantime, all options are being considered as
the process continues. We are completely committed to forging real
changes to the way MLS players are treated."
MLS followed with a response:
"During the last year, Major League Soccer has been negotiating with
the MLS Players Union on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The
current CBA expires today and the Players Union would not agree to a
"We have told the Players Union that the League does not plan to
lock out the players and we are prepared to begin the season under the
current CBA while we continue to bargain to reach agreement on a new
"We have listened to the issues raised by the MLS Players Union and
the League has made detailed proposals that have addressed these
issues, including in the areas of economics, guaranteed contracts,
options and the ability of a player to move to another MLS Club if he
is released by his current Club. These proposals, which represent
substantial changes from the current CBA, will significantly increase
our spending and provide substantially more rights to the players."
So, no work stoppage for now. Hopefully the two sides will get something worked out in the near future -- so we can all stop worrying about labor negotiations and focus our collective thoughts on the 2010 MLS season.