MLS players agree new deal, as Disney’s Orlando venue readies for 26-team restart

June 1 – Major League Soccer (MLS) is considering a June tournament in Orlando after the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) agreed to sweeping concessions to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). 

To soften the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the union has revised the CBA that was agreed in February and included changes across the board, including salary reductions across the entire player pool, reduced team and individual bonuses, and additional concessions to existing and future terms of the CBA.

In a statement, the MLSPA wrote: “While a difficult vote in incredibly challenging times, it was taken collectively to ensure that players can return to competition as soon as they are safely able to do so.”

The CBA had threatened to undermine the entire MLS season with the league, franchise owners, players and the union at an impasse, but the current coronavirus pandemic altered the dynamic and players agreed to salary cut of up to 7.5 %.

The MLS shut down on March 12 due to the global health crisis and the league held negotiations with the union for a compromise deal to alleviate the financial ramifications of the game’s standstill. The new CBA will run through to 2025.

At the time of the suspension the season was just two rounds into its schedule. MLS teams are back in training, albeit in small groups and following strict medical protocols as well as restrictions from local government.

Currently under consideration for the restart is to take all 26 MLS teams to Orlando, Florida, for a tournament in late June, making it the first major professional league in the US or Canada to return to play.

MLS teams would be sheltered at hotels, players tested regularly and matches staged at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.

The US women’s professional league have already announced they will begin their 2020 season with a tournament behind closed doors at two sites around Salt Lake City on June 27.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1594068656labto1594068656ofdlr1594068656owedi1594068656sni@o1594068656fni1594068656