CBA Negotiations / Featured / MLS

Time to fold ’em?

I woke up today with a song in my head that I haven’t heard in years.

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.”

I’m not sure what’s stranger: Waking up singing Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” or that I found some way to apply it to Major League Soccer. (On the positive side, it prompted me to watch this The Muppet Show video, which definitely put a hop in my step.)

Either way, message to MLS management and players: It’s time to fold ’em. Give ground and compromise, or your season and maybe your entire league will go into the tank.

“From an entertainment standpoint, we haven’t made enough of an imprint on the national psyche,” Seattle Sounders majority owner Joe Roth told The Olympian newspaper. “… I don’t think there will be a national outcry like with the NFL if somehow we wouldn’t be out there for a year – which would be terrible. Everyone would lose their jobs. We would all lose our franchises. And that would be that.”

Is he laying out the worst case scenario? Sure, of course he is. But is he wrong? Time will tell.

Check out C. Horridus’ post from the other day. Here’s a guy who’s been pretty gung ho for the Union to begin play and is generally one of the team’s biggest fans. Now he’s saying, “my time is too rare right now to waste it on a league that may self-implode.”

Seriously. I get you, Kev, big time.

Right now, we’re sitting back and waiting. Either the league will implode in the next week, or we’ll watch Philadelphia Union play the Seattle Sounders. Whatever. Nothing we can do about it but sit back and watch the potential train wreck.

Players could strike as early as Monday, Soccer by Ives reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources. The Houston Chronicle reported the same thing last week. Despite the anonymous sources in both reports, I’m betting it’s true.

This shortens the timetable for negotiations and likely explains why the owners are finally going public, but it also means players could go on strike and use that for leverage to force a deal before opening day. Would MLS leadership cave based on that? Don’t know.

Landon Donovan says he will get involved in negotiations. Prior to joining Everton on loan, he had been outspoken in his views supporting the players’ position.

“There are realities to the business that we’re in and unfortunately for too long the business has been one-sided,” Donovan told ESPN. “We need basic rights if we’re going to continue playing. We want rights that are afforded to other players in other countries around the world that we don’t have here.”

Of course, the black humor irony here is that Donovan might be the only guy in MLS who benefits from a strike. If there’s a strike, he could return to Everton. He has rejoined the Galaxy and scored two goals in the Galaxy’s 8-0 win over PDL club Hollywood United. Just a minor dip in the competition level from the EPL, eh?

Donovan back to Everton. Yes, the only silver lining in all of this.

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