Press release

Union issue statement on CBA deal

On Wednesday evening, MLS  and the MLS Players Union “they have reached agreement in principle on the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) covering five seasons, commencing with the 2015 season and continuing through the 2019 season.”

Soon after, the Union issued a press release with statements from Nick Sakiewicz, Jim Curtin, and Brian Carroll:

Nick Sakiewicz, CEO and Operating Partner: “We are very happy for our great fans and had confidence in the strength of the relationship between MLS players and our ownership that a positive outcome in the CBA negotiations would occur and it has. We applaud the leadership of both Commissioner Garber and the Labor Committee members as well as the MLSPU for coming to a timely resolution in a professional and respectful manner. Well done and now its game on!”

Jim Curtin, Head Coach: “All of our preparation and focus this offseason has been to get three points on March 7 and we’re all excited to know there’s an agreement for the season to go on as scheduled. We’re counting it down just like all of our great fans and we can’t wait to see everyone at PPL Park on Saturday.”

Brian Carroll, Philadelphia Union Player Representative: “Danny [Cruz] and I are proud of the work that was accomplished today by the Major League Soccer Players Union. We are extremely thankful for the fans continued support throughout this entire process. We look forward to a successful season and the growth of soccer in this country.”

The Union will play Colorado Rapids at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 at PPL Park to kick-off the 2015 MLS Regular Season. The game will be broadcast on 6abc.

In a statement at issued at MLSsoccer.com, and linked by the MLS Players Union website, players union executive director Bob Foose said, “We are pleased to announce that we have reached a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the league. We are pleased to finally turn our fans attention back to our players and the competition on the field as we get started on the 2015 season.”

MLS commissioner Don Garber said, “We are pleased to finalize the framework for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with our players. We now enter our 20th season with enormous momentum with our new television partnerships, dynamic star players from the US, Canada and abroad, and two new expansion teams in New York City and Orlando that will debut in front of more than 60,000 fans on Sunday in the Citrus Bowl. This agreement will provide a platform for our players, ownership and management to work together to help build Major League Soccer into one of the great soccer leagues in the world.”

At the Orlando Sentinel, Paul Tenorio reported not long after word of an agreement began to appear on social media,

According to a source with direct knowledge of the deal, the new collective bargaining agreement is a five-year deal that creates free agency for players 28 years of age or older, with at least eight years experience. According to that source, a players’ raise through free agency is capped depending on salary.

Players who are making less than $100,000 can make up to 125-percent of their salary, players making between $100,000-$200,000 can make up to 120-percent, and those making more than $200,000 have a cap of up to 115 percent of their current base.

In addition, the new CBA includes a minimum salary of $60,000, a substantial step up from the 2014 minimum of $36,500. The minimum will increase incrementally per year. The source said there was also an increase in the overall salary cap, though they could not immediately provide that number.

We’ll have more on the details of the CBA and reaction to the deal later.

17 Comments

  1. Thanks for the highlights. While I’m glad it’s been resolved, I think the players could have squeezed a little more to get the free agency to a better place for them. For example, 28 OR 8 years, or 27 and 7 years…
    .
    Onward.

  2. Damn good news!!! Just happy to know where I’ll be on Saturday. Now let’s beat Colorado. Come on the U!!!

  3. Atomic Spartan says:

    This sounds more favorable than most previous rumors. Maybe the mediators came in and talked some sense. Glad to see this put behind us all. C’mon the U!

  4. The players went in with no leverage beyond “this season is too important to lose” and walked out with significant concessions from the owners. Good to see the minimum players getting at least a decent wage now. 36.5K isn’t really enough to live on comfortably, but 60K is. And they got something resembling free agency. Kudos to both sides for coming to what seems like a very reasonable agreement and getting it done on time.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    First, I just want to say how happy I am they reached an agreement.
    .
    Second, I would say as to who won: it was a tie (stole that from an Alexi Lalas tweet) – with maybe the players winning it on PKs. Reasoning: players got some form of free agency, a 64% (I believe I saw that number somewhere) increase in the minimum salary, and an increase in the salary cap with agreements that it will rise each year over the life of the deal. We all knew full FA was not happening, so to get something was definitely a positive. The owners still have the single-entity firmly intact, FA – albeit now exists – is still years away for a large majority of the league, and the league will start on time with the new TV deals and sponsorship money, etc.
    .
    Like I said – players win on PKs. Haha. See you all Saturday!!! Come on the U!!

  6. Regulators! Mount Up.

  7. My son and I will be there for our 4th straight home opener.
    .
    Honestly, is there a better way to learn the game than to grow up sitting in the stands of best pro league in your country?
    .
    We had the Fever and the Fury for a bit when I was a kid, and then indoor came back years later in the 90’s but is isn’t the outdoor game. Sure there are semi-pro leagues and all, but it just isn’t the same as a pro stadium, etc.
    .
    Excited for the promise of a new season. I hope it turns out better than previous years.

  8. Players kind of got screwed…
    It’s not a great deal and really doesn’t do much.

    • they did not get screwed: they did not stick together and did not have a good leader who was trusted. Then there were selfish agendas: one rep seems to have voted against his team’s wishes.

  9. old soccer coach says:

    Looking at what little we know about the CBA at the moment, it has a much greater effect on the young players than it does the old. Quick use of the roster on the Union website finds two free agent candidates, Casey age 33 and 8 years in MLS and Carroll age 33 and 12 years in MLS [subject to the precise details of how age and years service will be defined by the new CBA. They have had an agreed definition of age in the previous one; years service though, not that I remember]. Fred and Le Toux each have 6 years MLS service.

    Much greater immediate impact comes from the minimum salary change. I project that six players just got raises ranging up to 64% almost assuredly: Hoppenot, 10%; Marquez, McCarthy, Catic, Lee, and Ayuk Mbu, 64%. Fred, perhaps, depending how much of a cut he took from last year to re-sign, may have also gotten a raise. And, practically speaking, if they were to sign Eric Bird, he has just gone from getting $36,500 to $60,000.

    Possible future free agents during the new CBA are Michael Lahoud in 2016, Sheanon Williams in 2018, CJ Sapong in 2019, Ethan White in 2019, and Danny Cruz in 2019. Pfeffer would meet service but not age. McGlaughlin would become eligible as the agreement expires, raising the question of whether or not he would be “grandfathered in” in a subsequent agreement; Hoppenot, also. I have tried to see all the possibilities, but rely on my fellow soccer nuts to notice my errors of omission and commission. I assumed it unlikely that MacMath would return; if he did, he would be like McGlaughlin and Hoppenot.

  10. Scottymac says:

    Yes, you could look at the microeconomics and say a player going from $40k to $60k made out like a bandit.

    Or you can pull back and do the math macroeconomic style-180ish players got a raise to $60K for a total of $3.6M spread between 20 investors for a $180k wage bill per just as $90M in TV money, or $4.5M per team.
    Looks like the owners are $4.32M ahead of the game.

    Yup. Players won. Kaka -$6M, 180 players get a raise = half that. If I’m a player, I’m voting for new leadership and new lawyers and start banking that warchest today for 5 years from now.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      To even start the FA conversation, to me, was a huge win. The money will follow

    • Agree with Wolfpack – only way to get full FA in one cycle is lawsuit, MLB. When collectively bargained it takes time. Remember Plan B free agency in the NFL?

      That being said, Scotty’s math is correct and I wonder how much the lack of a significant strike fund weighed on the players.

    • Brad Wealand says:

      You assume zero money in old TV deal (was virtually nothing, but for calcuations sake not true) and investors would be stupid to put it all into minimum salary increase. Extra money for other things (anyone want a GM? paying down debt, signing true DPs, etc.) is critical to stability and growth. The age limit on FA and the salary cap are the two biggest issues, but stealing from other PSP writers, the threat of strike is often more of an incentive than the actual stike. I think they got a fair deal. Neither side won–which is pretty much how negotiations are supposed to work.

  11. I’m glad sensible heads ruled the day. So happy the season starts on Saturday. Go Union!

  12. People act as if going on strike would have been for just a few weeks and resulted in a better deal. There’s no way to know that. It’s just as, if not more, likely that it would have been a very long strike with union capitulation at the end.

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