What is happening with the MLS?
With the 20th season of the MLS set to kick off on the 7th of March a possible players strike looms large over the league.
The MLS players union wants two of their demands to be met, first one is an increased salary cap and the second and the most important demand from them is to have the option of becoming free agents.
If the latest rumors are to be believed then no deal has been struck between the MLS and the players Union and the league which is scheduled to start in less than 10 days from now may see players boycotting the matches.
The MLS and the players union have been trying to set up a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for a number of months now but it hasn’t materialized till date. Both the parties have agreed to bring in a mediator to make progress with the discussions (something both parties did before the deal was struck last time back in 2010).
MLS doesn’t offer its players the same freedom like some of the other American sports such as Basketball, Baseball and Hockey do. If the Strike were to happen it will be first labour strike in the MLS but it has happened in the above mentioned American Sports.
Currently the MLS teams have some control over the players even after their contract with them expires. The prospect of free-agency is a scary affair for the team owners as it will shoot up the salary of the players.
The MLS is ready to bend to the players union on the matters of player compensation and salary budget but as of now will not budge on the matter of free agency.
MLS has been gaining increased popularity over the last few years inside and outside the US and had only recently struck a deal with Sky Sports to air the league in the UK.
Premier League legends Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are set to make their debuts with their respective MLS Clubs once the Premier League season is over.
If the strike were to happen and delay the start of the league it will greatly hurt the MLS franchise.
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