This workday got off to an early start with a morning conference call with MLS commissioner Don Garber, MLS players union director Bob Foose and others.
One thing was evidently clear as an agreement for a new CBA was announced: the two sides were very cordial with one another. Very complimentary during the call and in interviews afterward.
It really appears as though everyone is a winner in this one.
The league made some concessions, but kept its single-entity structure so owners won’t be competing with each other for players in free agency. The result is the re-entry draft, which no one really knows much about yet, but MLS has to be happy.
The players got more guaranteed contracts, a higher salary cap, and greater rights for its out-of-contract players. Certainly nothing to sneeze at and worth the wild process, I’d imagine.
Throughout the dealings the players said they could strike, but said they didn’t want to — which appears to hold up in hindsight. Sounders FC majority owner Joe Roth said some changes, but not wholesale ones, were due, but that a work stoppage would be detrimental to the league — also holds up.
Also, this federal mediator George H. Cohen appears to be a god-send. A miracle worker. MLS fans should send him a gift basket.
Talks didn’t appear to be working too well until he got involved. But credit all the players, lawyers and league officials that put in the long hours Thursday and Friday to get the deal done.
Now with this labor dispute behind us, it isn’t so bad when the Seattle’s marginal finishing in the preseason is your worst problem, right?
- Just a couple links from around the league: the New York Red Bulls opened their new stadium with a 3-1 win against the Robinho-less Santos and D.C. United won that Carolina Cup competition.
And here’s your entertainment, video-style. Perhaps the most bizarre headbutt tackle I’ve seen in a game.