MLS, Players Union Still Talking…For Now

After a couple of days worth of meetings in Washington D.C. with federal mediator George H. Cohen, Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Union agree on only one thing:

There isn’t a work stoppage.

Right now.

Here’s the net result of the meetings so far, a joint statement about the progress of the negociations:

“MLS and the players’ union have agreed to continue collective bargaining agreement discussions with the FMCS.”

The Washington Post’s Steven Goff reports that the sides aren’t expected to meet today, however.

Guess this is the day everyone’s planning to tour the Smithsonian.

So, this is good news, right? There’s still no strike, and the season is still slated to get under way soon.

Well, yeah.

Until you read this on the CBC Web site.

Toronto FC’s Nick Garcia, one of their player representatives, is throwing down the gauntlet.

“We are united as a union and if we need to strike, we will,” he told the CBC. “We’re anticipating not having the season starting (on time). As of now, for us, we’re very far apart — even with the mediator there in D.C. We’re hoping things can get done, but quite frankly I don’t think we’re confident things will.”

Oh, and that starting the season under the old CBA idea?

Not happening, according to Garcia.

“We’re not prepared do that,” the said. “That’s one thing we are not going to (do). We are prepared and willing to not start the season with the current CBA.”

Not to be an alarmist, but this may not be going well.

“We, as a union, have come more than half-way (in the negotiations),” Garcia said. “To this point, the league hasn’t taken us seriously, so for me I don’t think real issues have been addressed and I know other guys on other teams feel the same way.”

Now, I suppose it’s possible that Garcia is just shooting his mouth off and his sentiments are not the prevailing ones among the rank and file.

But if Garcia is speaking for the players, things might be about to get even nastier between the owners and players.

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