Thirty-two days after the old collective bargaining agreement expired and two days before the start of the 2015 regular season, Major League Soccer and the MLS Players' Union agreed on a new one.
After four days of intense negotiations, word came late this afternoon that the two sides had come to an agreement.
However, after such a long and contentious negotiation that flirted with a players strike throughout, it is not surprising that the final outcome was at least somewhat divisive among the players.
So #MLSCBA deal is done. Hearing lots of players unhappy w/final deal. I'm told 7 teams voted against it (KC, RSL, RBNY, NYC, MON, FCD, COL)— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) March 5, 2015
To clarify for anyone confused by earlier tweet, list of teams I tweeted was teams whose PLAYERS voted against accepting deal, NOT owners— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) March 5, 2015
The contents of the deal itself will likely never be officially released, but some details of it are already leaking out.
Hearing numbers like a seven-year deal, 15 percent increase in the cap and $60,000 minimum salary. #MLSCBA— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) March 5, 2015
No word yet on CBA length. I'm seeing reports of 7 but am told players were fighting hard to keep it 5 years. Owners would LOVE 7-year CBA.— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) March 5, 2015
Details on deal: 5-year CBA. Free agency for age 28+, 8yrs experience. Cap on raise based on salary. Minimum now $60K http://t.co/UkIiUmWnET— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) March 5, 2015
Some of the details are conflicting, like the length of the CBA at five or seven years, but the majority appear to be agreed upon, particularly the increase of the league minimum salary to $60,000. A raised minimum salary would likely affect a number of players on the Portland Timbers' roster this year including George Fochive, Michael Nanchoff, Taylor Peay, Alvas Powell, and Andrew Weber is last season's salaries are accurate for all of those players.
Sounding like 28-8 threshold held, but with slightly higher increase for players switching teams. Not full blown free agency but something— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) March 5, 2015
The other detail that is widely agreed upon is the "free agency" threshold: a player must be 28-years-old and have played in the league for eight years before being eligible for free agency, according to reports surrounding the CBA negotiations.
The Massive Report, SB Nation's Columbus Crew blog, has already compiled a list of the players that could potentially qualify for the new free agency that you can check out here. On the list from the Timbers are Nat Borchers and Danny O'Rourke, as well as Will Johnson after the 2015 season.