NEW YORK (Saturday, March 20, 2010) - Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Major League Soccer Players Union (MLSPU) today announced that they have reached agreement in principle on the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement covering five seasons, commencing with the 2010 season and continuing through December 31, 2014.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber and MLSPU Executive Director Bob Foose announced the agreement today via teleconference call, five days prior to the start of the League's 15th season.
"We are very pleased to have reached agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the MLS Players Union," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. This new agreement allows us to work with our players to continue our mutual efforts to build the sport of soccer in North America. We worked hard during the past few months to develop a new agreement that addressed many of the players most important issues and look forward to a meaningful and productive new relationship over the next five years.
I would like to thank the players and the leadership of the Union for their involvement and commitment to the collective bargaining process as well as our fans for their patience as we worked together to reach an agreement, Garber said. I also want to thank George Cohen for his expertise in assisting the parties though mediation.
"The Union is happy with this agreement as it addresses the core issue of players' rights and we look foward to working cooperatively with the League going foward," said Bob Foose, Executive Director of the Union.
LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan said: "We have a deep appreciation for the commitment shown by the owners both historically and through this process to make MLS one of the top leagues in the world."
The concluding phase of the negotiations was conducted under the auspices of George Cohen, Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
The agreement is subject to the approval of the MLS Board of Governors and the membership of the MLSPU.
Major League Soccers 15th season kicks off March 25 when the expansion Philadelphia Union travel to Seattle to take on Sounders FC in a nationally televised match on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com. The other 14 MLS clubs are in action on March 26 and 27.
ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. MLS kicks off its 15th season on March 25, 2010. MLS features 16 clubs each playing 30 regular season matches in 2010. Those teams include Chicago Fire; Colorado Rapids; Chivas USA; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; Kansas City Wizards; Los Angeles Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural season, Philadelphia Union. Expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland will debut in 2011. For more information about MLS, log on to the Leagues official website at www.MLSnet.com.
ABOUT THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER PLAYERS UNION The Major League Soccer Players Union, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is the exclusive bargaining representative for all Major League Soccer players. For more information about the Players Union, log on to its website at www.mlsplayers.org.