After months of tenuous negotiations and substantial fears that the season would not start on time, the MLS Players' Union and the League agreed to a new 5-year Collective Bargaining Agreement that will ensure the 2010 season starts on time.
are very excited that a deal on the CBA has been reached," said Fire
Technical Director Frank Klopas. "Our players have been training everyday
for more than seven weeks in preparation for what will no doubt be one of the
Fire's most exciting seasons as we enter a new era of this club. We are
all looking forward to First Kick against the Red Bulls in New York next
The deal features guaranteed contracts, some freedom of movement for players out of contract, and "greatly improved compensation" for players. A final feature of the new deal is a Re-Entry draft. The Re-Entry draft will allow players out of contract to be picked up by new teams at the end of each season.
Here's a statement from Fire Union representatives Logan Pause and John Thorrington:
"On behalf of the players, we would like to thank everyone whose contributions helped us arrive at a positive resolution. Without the combined effort of the players, the bargaining committee, the union chiefs, the mediator, the league front office, and the owners, a mutually beneficial agreement would not have been possible. The new CBA reflects the ongoing commitment both parties have made to furthering the growth of Major League Soccer. For us personally, we could not be more excited as we look ahead to the season and making our fans proud here in Chicago."
Obviously, we're all awaiting details on just what the exact specifics of the deal are. As soon as anything is revealed, I'll be sure to post it on the site.