Well Major League Soccer is back in the United States. There will not be a strike happening here. Tonight’s game of LA Galaxy verses the Chicago Fire will be the kickoff to the season. Now the reason there might have been a strike was the Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA, was not settled and the players had a lot of demands. Did the owners or the league like what the players wanted? No, because that would mean that the players were not owned by the league. Yet this seems more like what MLB went through something like this and it went to court, but the court ruled in favor of the MLB. I’m hoping that in 5 years we don’t have to go through something like a strike again. It seemed to me that the players got what they wanted but on a lower scale. They wanted higher minimum wages, which they got in spades, 64% increase to $60000. This was the major win for MLS players, but the biggest battle that the players are making a little head way in was Free Agency. The players don’t want to be told where they will be playing. They want to have some say in the matter. This might take some time to get where the bigger leagues in the United States are, but it’s a step in the right direction. What the CBA says for free agency is that if a player has been playing in the League for 8 years and is over the age of 28, can seek free agency. Only 10% of the active players can seek this right now. It might not be exactly what the players wanted but it is a baby step. The big leagues around the USA didn’t get where they are in 20 years. It took a lot of years to get a free agency from the league. The MLS also had an increase in salary cap by 15% which will be able to pay the players the minimum salary.
Many people are asking who won out of all this. I would have to say neither. They both wanted things, and had to compromise to get this done before the season starts. The fans are the people that have won in this because the season starts on time with no strike. The fans that the MLS would have lost would have killed the sport. It is hard for people to take MLS seriously because there is no set schedule for the teams. People are used to seeing the Barclays Premier League on set days of the week. I think the MLS has lost people because of that and the TV is not broadcasting it enough to the USA. With the new TV rights to ESPN, FOX and Univision, the MLS might be able to get better ratings then they have in the past, which is a big step in the right direction to get fans. Lets see