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skangles
DC
Post #1
Sunday February 1, 2015 9:27pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,420
I can't believe that we don't have a thread on all things CBA so here we go.

I like how Bradley is serving as the poster child for player interests in the media and is willing to strike if necessary.

What do you want out of the new CBA and would you be willing to endure a strike for an unspecified period in order to get it?

Are we in agreement that these are the key points?

1) Raise the minimum salary.
A player like Taylor Kemp should not be the starting LB for the Eastern conference champions whilst earning $36k a year. That's ridiculous and there are players in similar situations all over the league.

2) Raise the salary cap. $3.1m per team is insufficient given the growth of the league. If a team had three DPs last season it would eat up 1/3 of their cap.

3) Increase the number of DPs. In order for this to happen the salary cap needs to be raised accordingly.

4) Free agency. The re-entry draft is a joke. If a player is out of contract he should be able to sign with whatever team wants him at a mutually agreed salary.

5) The league to stop its BS meddling. This is really important, the MLS loses so much credibility when Garber just makes policies up as he goes. Dempsey and Bradley can go wherever they want. Jones is subject to a blind envelope draw. The Red Bulls had to trade with Montreal to get Kljestan because Montreal had the top allocation spot and Garber decided to follow his rules for once. Edu can go to Philly but not only on the terms that the league agrees with. The legend Bocanegra had to end his career rotting at Chivas USA because again allocation order was in play. If there are going to be processes, follow them otherwise let times sign who they want and get out of the way.

mmee
Culver City, CA
Post #2
Sunday February 1, 2015 11:16pm

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 2,147
I agree, given that I know nothing about this.

I would imagine that somewhere in the combination of #2 and #3, the league should be careful, to avoid both an over-spending boom and bust, and any worse of a big club/small club thing than we have now.

I suppose the beauty of this is lost on most people, but it's fairly important to me that a small club who does things right should be able to go all the way. And I'm saying that as a LAG fan, so I think it's fairly impossible to accuse me of bias in favor of my own club here.

I know that most countries give 0 craps about parity, but I'll take the quality hit for some parity, honestly.

But #1, #4 and #5 I unreservedly agree with.

skangles
DC
Post #3
Monday February 2, 2015 12:14am

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,420
I like the salary cap and believe that's how to maintain parity. It forces team management to strategically build a team as its not necessarily about getting the best players it's about getting the best value for money.

A quick comparison of the Eastern conference last season stresses this point. Toronto FC was the league's biggest spenders at $15m but they couldn't make the playoffs because teams like DC United went from worst to first (in the East) by picking up other team's castaways and the red hot Revs made MLS Cup despite entering last season with the lowest payroll in the league.

This of course changed when the Revs signed Jones. I don't know what the Revs paid Jones but I can say that Toronto spent 5x more on their roster than DC yet obtained significantly worse results. Their issue was that after Bradley, Defoe and Gilberto they did a poor job of acquiring value for money with the remainder of their cap space.

Assuming the MLS moves to Free Agency there will always be the issue of smaller market teams having to overpay for talent. As a Milwaukee Bucks fan, I'm ok with it. A team like the Crew have a strong need for a good GM but players want to go to a team that wins irrespective of where its located (just look at what happened to the Cavs this off season). There will always be players that accept less than their market value to play for a winner (see Ray Allen on the Heat) so you may have talented players moving to LA and Seattle on a discounted salary for the chance at a championship. No problem, the Salary cap keeps things in check and allows teams built the right way to succeed as witnessed through SKC's title run in 2013.

skangles
DC
Post #4
Monday February 2, 2015 12:19am

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,420
Just for kicks here is a look at last year's playoff seeds and how they ranked at the start of last season in terms of spending...

WEST
1. Seattle #4
2. LA Galaxy #2
3. RSL #13
4. FC Dallas #7
5. Vancouver #5

EAST
1. DC United #11
2. NE Revs #19
3. Columbus #15
4. NYRB #3
5. SKC #12

recycledhumans
DFWTX
Post #5
Monday February 2, 2015 5:04pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,467
I would support the strike, and want all of the points that you've listed, but can we agree that there is a place short of carte blanche approving any and all player union demands that is still an acceptable step forward? I'm definitely not trying to schill for the corporate interests and ownership groups, it's absolutely time that they start making playing here a good living for everyone on the squad, but an unrestricted free agency system isn't happening yet.

The Don and MLS are realizing that they're not going to be needed forever and eventually we'll move to the more global system where there job will almost solely be a clerical and/or disciplinary one, so they're not going to relinquish control over that aspect for a little while at least.

MSantoine
Post #6
Monday February 2, 2015 5:51pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
The players cant strike. A strike will crush MLS. My bet is if there is a strike at least two of the current teams fold/relocate within 3 years

blaise213
Post #7
Monday February 2, 2015 8:31pm

Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts: 2,927
As I keep saying, If MLS can build better covered stadiums, I think the MLS season should start today.

* No NFL/College football competition
* NBA is weak in a lot of markets, except where I live.
* Hockey has fallen off.
* 2 months of games before baseball starts

tylercocinas
Post #8
Monday February 2, 2015 9:56pm

Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts: 1,151
Blaise, unfortunately that is not really feasible nor realistic at this point.

dfw_fan
DfW
Post #9
Tuesday February 3, 2015 1:53pm

Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts: 999
Original post from blaise213

As I keep saying, If MLS can build better covered stadiums, I think the MLS season should start today.

* No NFL/College football competition
* NBA is weak in a lot of markets, except where I live.
* Hockey has fallen off.
* 2 months of games before baseball starts


Perhaps a mini knockout style tournament in the Southern part of the US...
Dallas, Houston, Florida LA area with all the MLS teams + USL participating...

Kamphgruppe
Michigan
Post #10
Tuesday February 3, 2015 5:25pm

Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts: 806
Original post from MSantoine

The players cant strike. A strike will crush MLS. My bet is if there is a strike at least two of the current teams fold/relocate within 3 years


MLS has a lot of momentum right now. We are getting some great young signings, the play is improving, and we are attracting a lot of new/casual fans. I think a strike would kill all that momentum and possibly set MSL back 3 to 5 years.

recycledhumans
DFWTX
Post #11
Tuesday February 3, 2015 5:49pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,467
Original post from Kamphgruppe

MLS has a lot of momentum right now. We are getting some great young signings, the play is improving, and we are attracting a lot of new/casual fans. I think a strike would kill all that momentum and possibly set MSL back 3 to 5 years.


Setting it back 3-5 years is a small price to pay if change in the rate of growth of the league is as accelerated as it would be with the new-and-improved CBA.

Think of it this way...
if MLS under the current set up would take 30 years to become as popular/profitable/widespread as the next highest sport, but the new CBA can get you there in 15-20 years plus the 3-5 year set back, you're still 5 years to the better. That's a whole WC cycle and possibly 3 gold cups...

In order to make a giant leap, sometimes you have to take a step or two in the wrong direction first...it's all about the big picture.

MSantoine
Post #12
Tuesday February 3, 2015 6:03pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
Original post from recycledhumans

Setting it back 3-5 years is a small price to pay if change in the rate of growth of the league is as accelerated as it would be with the new-and-improved CBA.

Think of it this way...
if MLS under the current set up would take 30 years to become as popular/profitable/widespread as the next highest sport, but the new CBA can get you there in 15-20 years plus the 3-5 year set back, you're still 5 years to the better. That's a whole WC cycle and possibly 3 gold cups...

In order to make a giant leap, sometimes you have to take a step or two in the wrong direction first...it's all about the big picture.


The problem is that in MLS's case I dont think they could recover from the set back. Usually the only time a strike works out best for the league is when the owners have no choice but to lock out players (lockout vs strike, tomato, tomoto). Take the recent NHL lockout where they cancelled most of a full season. They had to as the players were getting too much of the pie and 6-7 franchises were on the brink of folding. There was a similar issue with NBA and they played a condensed season and now their teams are worth billions. In both cases the owners were prepared to lose games as it actually saved them money.

In MLS case the players are pushing for more. If you push too much and strike you risk crumbling the league. And one HUGE difference is more than half of the MLS owners are owners of other teams first and MLS second. Several of them lose money/barely break even (Kraft, Kroeike). Would they lose sleep over missing revenue depleting MLS games? The MLS players need to bend but ultimately break and take the victories they can. The owners have way to much leverage in this case.

recycledhumans
DFWTX
Post #13
Tuesday February 3, 2015 8:31pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,467
Original post from MSantoine

The problem is that in MLS's case I dont think they could recover from the set back. Usually the only time a strike works out best for the league is when the owners have no choice but to lock out players (lockout vs strike, tomato, tomoto). Take the recent NHL lockout where they cancelled most of a full season. They had to as the players were getting too much of the pie and 6-7 franchises were on the brink of folding. There was a similar issue with NBA and they played a condensed season and now their teams are worth billions. In both cases the owners were prepared to lose games as it actually saved them money.

In MLS case the players are pushing for more. If you push too much and strike you risk crumbling the league. And one HUGE difference is more than half of the MLS owners are owners of other teams first and MLS second. Several of them lose money/barely break even (Kraft, Kroeike). Would they lose sleep over missing revenue depleting MLS games? The MLS players need to bend but ultimately break and take the victories they can. The owners have way to much leverage in this case.


I know what you mean, and at this point it probably isn't worth the gamble...but I'm of the opinion that there are enough "die-hards" and ultras to keep the league afloat after coming off a strike.

dolcem
Post #14
Wednesday February 4, 2015 12:35am

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,805
I don't think people understand the gravity of the situation.

We are coming off of the best year in the history of soccer in the states (in terms of new exposure to the game). We have a chance to grab some of the hundreds of millions of people that watched soccer for the first time this summer and enjoyed it. And then we have the best off-season in MLS history since Beckham came (inifinitely better in terms of quality).

But a strike, at this point, will not only cause us to miss out on what could be huge gains for the league, the type that could make it a Big Five, it could permanently set back the league. The NHL never really recovered from its lockout, and it is a much, much more established sport in the North than soccer is anywhere. A lot of teams operate in the red and let's not forget that the league wasn't far from folding a decade or so ago. We also have some questionable new franchises and a reliance on expansion fees. I don't want to even think of what a strike will do to the league.

Of course I agree with 1, 2, and 5, but the league has agreed on 1 and 2. Frankly I'm really disappointed with the players. If they want to play somewhere else they can, there are a lot of well-paying soccer jobs out there. This isn't American sports, there is no monopoly here. And right now they're whining about the wacky MLS regulations...yeah, they don't make sense, but a few arbitrary contract rules is not justification for killing the sport in the US. These guys are free to pack their bags and play anywhere else, including the NASL.

There is something about the image of Bradley being a big spokesperson for the players in this that I find a bit funny...I mean he came back to the MLS in the prime of his career for the massive paycheck, and now he goes on strike? This is the best American player of our generation, someone who could have built a legacy in Europe and paved the way for more Americans to come abroad. But he decided to come home for the paycheck (messing up his World Cup preparation in the process) rather than play Champions League soccer, and now he's not even going to play. What about his national team commitments? I think considering how much of a hero the US media always has made him out to be, some of us are a bit disappointed. The same goes for Jozy. Why sign somewhere you might not even end up playing? This type of thing doesn't happen in France or Germany (where he had offers).
GET A CLUB TEAM
tylercocinas
Post #15
Wednesday February 4, 2015 4:36am

Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts: 1,151
For those opposed to the idea of a strike, when and how do the players get these basic concessions if not now? If the owners won't cave on free agency and the other issues raised by the players, why would they do it during the next round of collective bargaining negotiations?

As for the "arbitrary contract rules" referenced by Dolcem, with respect to free agency in particular, the ability of a player to determine his own club is considered an inherent right in the sport (globally). MLS is the only league in which a player who is out of contract cannot determine for whom he plays within that same league. Don't drink the kool-aid on this guys. Even if the league suffers a short-term set back, it is better in the long run that players have the rights that they are campaigning for.

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