Major League Soccer and the Players’ Association announced today that they’ve agreed to extend the current Collective Bargaining Agreement for one week.
The current CBA, which was originally ratified on July 16, 2015, was set to expire on Jan. 31. Without an agreement — or extension — the MLSPA would have either had to continue to work without a CBA, or initiate a work stoppage. In a joint statement, both the league and players’ association indicated that negotiations have been positive. “The two groups have engaged in productive discussions and will continue to negotiate a new CBA,” according to the release.
The league and players have been in discussions since 2018 regarding a new CBA and while the talks have been more amicable than previous negotiations, there are still many issues to resolve before the parties come to an agreement. The MLSPA earlier this month published a memorandum of sorts outlining four issues their membership would like to see addressed in a new CBA.
The week-long extension can be seen as a positive sign that the parties are making progress on an agreement, though the extension expires before Concacaf Champions League games begin on Feb. 18, and well before the MLS season gets under way on Feb. 29. Thus, if talks stall, a work stoppage could ensue prior to any competitive games being played. The Seattle Sounders are scheduled to begin their CCL campaign on Feb. 20 at Olimpia in Honduras.
To review the issues animating the CBA negotiations, click here.