Yesterday, officials representing Major League Soccer (MLS) met with MLS Players Union representatives at the office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, D.C. in an attempt to hammer out the final details of a collective bargaining agreement.
Time is certainly of the essence, as the new MLS season is scheduled to start this coming weekend. But without a collective bargaining agreement, there is a risk of a players’ strike. When asked whether a players’ strike had already been approved by the union, an MLS defender demurred:
“I think it’s important that we keep the specifics of those items behind closed doors,” he said. “I want to respect the process and both sides. We’re very hopeful in the next two or three days that were going to come up with something that’s a win-win solution.”
As of now, the major sticking point between the parties involves the issue of free-agency. Owners stand adamantly against the proposition, while players want to at least see free-agency addressed in the newest collective bargaining agreement.
Stay tuned to @LRToday, where we will be watching these negotiations closely in the lead-up to the 2015 MLS season.