So as we found out on Friday the union and the league will sit down this week to continue work on a new CBA, this time they will be joined by a federal mediator. I really hope things go well and both sides can come to an agreement before the season starts, but it seems that some folks are still lining up behind one side or the other (which I think is a part of the problem):
Big Apple Soccer: Points to some lessons from the NASL player strike in 1979
A writer from the Houston Chronicle offers: Major League has major problems
Both of these articles have some valid points but then both have some points I disagree with, I do like that finally someone has chosen to mention what should have been the rallying cry for the players from the start (in my opinion), which is the injustice of Stuart Holden making under $35,000 last year and while Houston offered him a significant raise in the off season, they should have done so two years ago. The only problem with StuHo's situation is that he took the option to leave after his contract expired and go to Europe, not every MLS player has that option.
For me this has never been about sides, despite what some think, it has been about what is best for the sport. It is that reason that I side with the players on raising salaries, quality of life issues, and why I tend to side with the league on issues like guaranteed contracts, and neither side on the sticky "free agency" issue. The latter is one that given the current league structure could be a disaster if it was done blindly, but one that with an eventual restructure of the league to more team control, I fully support.
Whatever happens in the talks this week, I just hope that both sides realize that much more is at stake than what either side is wanting. Soccerlaw.com does a nice job of pointing out that both sides will likely need to moderate their current position in order to come to a new CBA
after the jump an update on Landycakes:
Well it is time for Landon to head back home to LA according to the original loan terms, but when he headed to Everton did anyone expect him to be so successful? So should he head back to MLS for two months, then off to USMNT camp to prepare for the World Cup, and then I believe back to Europe?
I think LA would be wise to allow him to continue his loan period until the end of the EPL season, it would be good for Landon and would be great for the USMNT to have him playing at the higher level of the EPL. I also believe this would be in the best interest of MLS and the LA Galaxy as it is likely that the transfer value of Landon will likely go up if he continues to show as well as he has in recent weeks.
The rumors have already started about Chelsea wanting in on the Landycakes bid-a thon, and I have to believe that the value will continue to rise if he finishes out the rest of the EPL season strong. I think MLS and the LA Galaxy really need to think before making a decision, I know it hurts the league to lose their "poster child" but to tell a player that they won't let him go play in the very best league in the world because he is needed here to be the face of a smaller and less talented league, could hurt the long term relationship with all players.
We have seen some players get offers from teams in Europe only to have the league say no, if the league is going to convince the players that they are serious about them having opportunities to grow and become better players it will mean that the negotiations need to be much more balanced in the future.
So I say let Landon stay, let him continue to contribute, let him come back for the USMNT camp, and then let the bidding begin. If anyone has paid their dues it is Landon and he is showing the world that he has the talent and class to play at the top level of the beautiful game, to deny him that chance is simply unfair to him, the fans, and to the sport.
OFF MY SOAPBOX