The 2015 MLS season could be delayed amid claims the players are considering strike action.
The MLS is a single entity. In practice, this means ALL players for ALL clubs are owned by the league itself (with the exception of special, high-salary ‘Designated Players’ (like Gerrard, Beckham, Lampard, and Henry)).
As a result, the league and the Players Union are constantly bartering over image rights, sponsorship deals, and most importantly – salaries.
These terms are laid out under the ‘Collective Bargaining Agreement’ (CBA). The CBA lasts for a determined amount of time before it needs to be renegotiated, and the previous one expired at the end of 2014.
There is a lot of frustration in the Players Union about low salaries. The average MLS salary is a mere $30,000 per year, and is thus dwarfed by deals signed by some of the aging pros who head to the US for one last pay day.
The Players Union are therefore playing hard-ball. Omar Gonzalez, LA Galaxy player and spokesman for the group, has said players are more than prepared to strike if their demands for an increased slice of the pie are not met.
ESPN confirmed the news earlier:
Gonzalez says MLS players “are prepared to go on strike” if new CBA can’t be agreed to before 2015 season starts in March.
— Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN) January 20, 2015