Work stoppage on the way for MLS?

Work stoppage on the way for MLS?

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 23, 2015

The last couple of weeks have been rather crazy. Now as Major League Soccer is heading into their final two weeks of the preseason, the thought of a strike or work stoppage is really starting to sink in. Players want free agency and none of them seem willing to budge on it. has a report up this morning that makes that thought even more evident.

Never mind the discussions about minimum salaries and the salary cap. Without getting into specifics, an MLS source indicated over the weekend that MLS is committed to increasing both. Rather, it is the diametrically opposed views on free agency that are cause for worry.

So increased salaries are going to happen. I had a thought earlier in the day that I wonder if there is a magic money number that the owners can throw at this to end the want for free agency right now. Meaning, can they increase the salary cap and minimum wages enough to make players happy right now? I kind of doubt there is a magic number but as the old phrase goes “everyone has a price”.

I said back at the beginning of the year that I didn’t think a strike or work stoppage would happen but now I am beginning to think that it could potentially happen. Players really want free agency and owners have no desire to make it happen for them.

Owners will say that it violates the single-entity structure of the league. If it allows free agency it make open up the doors for a new antitrust lawsuit.

Players on the other hand can state that the owners are gobbling up new expansion fees in the $100 million price range or that the new TV deal is worth $90 million or so per season. The money is there in their minds to make things happen.

Owners can handle a strike. Players probably will not be able to last long in a strike, too many of the bottom barrel players in the league don’t make enough money right now to handle a long work stoppage.

At least there is someone in the middle to help sort it all out right now. The federal meditators helped in 2010 and can do so again in 2015. Lets just hope they don’t wait until March 5 to get it all sorted out.