MLS, players agree to new contract
Major League Soccer and its players have reached a new five-year collective bargaining agreement in time for the start of the season later this month.
The new contract must be approved by the MLS Board of Governors and the membership of the Major League Soccer Players Association.
The agreement includes greater investment in player spending, and flexibility for the league's teams in spending those funds. It also expands free agency and allows teams to take more charter flights, which the players had prioritized.
The deal also gives players a share of the media rights deals in 2023 and 2024.
“This agreement addresses key strategic priorities for the league and our players while also retaining the basic player compensation structure that has been the foundation for the growth and stability of Major League Soccer," Commissioner Don Garber said in a prepared statement. "We had constructive, positive discussions with the leadership of the MLSPA and the players’ bargaining committee during the negotiations over the last few months and I would like to thank them for their collaboration in concluding an agreement that will serve as the foundation for a new era of partnership with our players.”
The union leadership said in November that they were prepared to strike if an agreement wasn't reached. The previous agreement was set to expire on Jan. 31, but the two sides recently extended it to Friday.
Major League Soccer opens its 25th season on Feb. 29.
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