MLS Strike Looming?

It’s looking more and more possible.

Tweeted Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl this morning: MLS strike? LA’s Chris Klein: “I’m optimistic by nature…it’s reached a stage now where I don’t have that optimism.”

And now, there’s this, late this afternoon:

NEW YORK (AP) — Negotiators for Major League Soccer players and owners failed to meet Tuesday, two days before the latest extension in their labor talks is due to expire.

With players failing to match management’s no-lockout pledge with a no-strike offer, the
league’s first work stoppage appears possible, one that could postpone the first game of the expansion Philadelphia Union and the official opening of Red Bull Arena.

Negotiators met Monday in Washington, D.C., before league officials returned to their New York office.

The league’s first collective bargaining agreement expired Jan. 31, and the sides twice
extended bargaining, with the latest additional time running out Thursday. Players say they want increased free-agent rights and more guaranteed contracts.

While the league says it has offered a higher percentage of guaranteed deals, management says it cannot afford to increase free-agent rights within MLS when contracts expire.

MLS president Mark Abbott said last weekend the league will not lock out players and is
prepared to start the season under the terms and conditions of the expired five-year
contract.

While the league schedule opens March 25, when the expansion Philadelphia Union is at Seattle, Columbus hosts Toluca on March 9 in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League on March 9, then plays the second leg at the Mexican club eight days later.

CONCACAF, the regional governing body, isn’t sure how it would deal with a strike, whether it would cause a postponement or a forfeit.

“We have a couple of choices,” CONCACAF secretary general Chuck Blazer said Tuesday. “We could go back to the committee at that point and deal with it under extraordinary matters, since it hasn’t been dealt with before. “I’m hoping it doesn’t happen. It would be a sad thing for that to be the case. We’re in the midst of building something for everybody, and we hope they would view it that way, as well. We would have to consider what we would do at the point in time when we are confronted with the actual facts.”

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  • Ben

    I’m angry both the owners and the players union seem so far appart on a new cba.

    If there is no solution it’s the passionate fans and the Sport in the US that suffers.

  • Jason D

    this is the last thing american soccer needs, hopefully they would play through the season with the old contract as they try to work out a new deal.

  • autoprt

    you mean they actually get “paid” to play soccer, they need to be happy they have a salary no less talk about going on strike…

  • Ray

    A strike really hurts the fans. I hope they can settle this. It is not good for the sport.

  • Kingsnake

    Billionaires crying poor. Once again, the league proves its sleaze.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Blazer isn’t worried so much about the “integrity” of the CONCACAF Champions’ League. He and his puppet master, Jack Warner, are far more worried about the amount of money they personal…er, CONCACAF would lose if none of the MLS teams compete.