MLS Preseason Slated To Start February
The MLS sent out their season starting dates and other important happenings during the year on Wednesday, January 27th, 2021. Although, the dates seem very soon for a league that is currently in a negotiation battle over their CBA for the next 4 to 6 years. The MLS and MLSPA have both responded to each other in a somewhat timely fashion over the past few weeks. Below, you’ll see the current dates that the MLS has put forth for starting and otherwise. Hopefully, we’ll be heading into a 34 game season, in the near future.
- Feb. 22: MLS Preseason training begins (6 weeks)
- Apr. 3-4: MLS is Back – Opening Weekend 2021
- Late Aug.: MLS Heineken® Rivalry Week
- Late summer: MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, Leagues Cup, Campeones Cup
- Nov. 7: MLS Decision Day
- Nov. 19: Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs begin
- Dec. 11: 2021 MLS Cup
Meanwhile,MLSPA and MLS At Odds On CBA
The MLSPA on Thursday responded back to a push from the MLS to finish negotiations. This recently led to the MLS and MLSPA deciding together that Friday’s “hard deadline” was to be extended until the end of February 4th, 2021. Recently, the MLSPA offered to go forth with the season and avoid a work stoppage by agreeing to a one-year extension to the CBA. In addition, they mention between the COVID-19 related CBA agreement in June and now, they would be giving up 200 million dollars in economic concessions. Their stance also added that the MLSPA would be agreeing to a second year due to the COVID-19 pandemic would be equal to the “2-year extension” needed from the MLS to finish negotiations. The MLS is seemingly stuck on not having to re-negotiate during or before the US World Cup in 2026.
My Opinion On The Matter
MLS recently sent out a memo to their staff and otherwise ahead of the deadline on Friday. It noted getting ready for a work stoppage. It’s clear that the MLS is ready to ride out this negotiation until they get what they want. Along with most fans in the MLS, I side with the players, who have already conceded once in the past year. They took a five percent pay cut to help ease the blow of 2020 due to the pandemic.
While returning to getting paid 100 percent of their contracts this year, the players shouldn’t be happy with what they’re being dealt. The owners and MLS seem to be stuck on saving 100-110 million dollars with a two-year concession. Paul Tenorio from The Athletic notes in his tweets that per their own math, “they’re ready to lock out the players over less than 500,000 dollars per team”. The players are ready to play and are coming halfway to the owners and MLS. I would love to see this finished without the MLS winning their two-year extension they want so badly due to the World Cup coming up.