Well Saturday morning saw the MLS and MLSPU finally come to terms and a new 5 year CBA was signed but the details of the new agreement have been slow to trickle out. We heard from all sides involved and some high level points of the new agreement.
We know that a larger percentage of contracts will be guaranteed, we know that there will be no free agency but some type of way for players at the end of their contracts or otherwise without a team to play for that some type of lottery will be held to place them. We have heard that salaries for many players will be going up, and in some cases significantly.
Some rumors out there are that the development league will come back and that rosters will increase in size. I heard nothing about DP's, overall salary cap, or many, many other issues, but I am sure with players needing to get back with their teams, the league needing to move forward with getting ready for MLS First Kick on Thursday, that the details will be coming.
I have to admit, I felt confident a solution would be found, but I also knew that neither side would get everything they wanted. This has been what I have been saying from the very start, there were real issues for both sides and based on the "happy" comments coming out from all sides involved it sounds like we should have several years of everyone focused on what should always be the main thing. Making MLS a better league, engaging the American public to become fans of the greatest sport on the planet, and I can only hope that we can move forward to make soccer in the US (and Canada) a real mainstream sport, and improve the level of the league so we become one of the top leagues in the world.
The next few days as the details emerge should shed a much clearer picture on what the future of the league looks like for players, I can only hope that MLS will also work on a detailed growth plan for the sport and the league, using the new CBA and other things like fan feedback as the foundation. Oh it would also help if they could make that plan public so everyone can do their part to ensure that MLS becomes the league that all of us can be proud of.
OFF MY SOAPBOX