MLS players union releases CBA
Nearly a year after MLS and the players union hammered out a new collective bargaining agreement, the details of that accord have been made public.
The MLS players union has released the current CBA, which was agreed upon March 4 — two days before the start of the 2015 season — and retroactively set to run from Feb. 1, 2015, to Jan. 31, 2020.
Here are some of the details included in the CBA:
— The salary cap is set at $3,660,000 for the 2016 campaign, and will increase to $4,420,000 by 2019.
— The minimum salary for each member of a team's senior squad is $62,500 in 2016 and will rise to $70,250 by 2019, with reserve players paid a minimum of $51,500 this season and $56,250 by 2019.
— Free agency, as had previously been confirmed, is available for out-of-contract players who are at least 28 years old and have at least eight years of MLS service. A player whose previous salary exceeded the maximum budget charge (12.5 percent of the team's salary cap) and receives another offer from his current team for more than the maximum cannot enter free agency.
— Expansion teams receive $1,100,000 of allocation money, which can be used to buy down players' salary cap charge and pay transfer fees. Clubs also are granted $200,000 for taking part in additional competitions, such as the U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League, and the amount of allocation money a team can yield from selling a player for a transfer fee is capped at $650,000.
— The MLS Cup champion earns a bonus of $275,000 to be dispersed among its players, while the runner-up receives $80,000. The Supporters' Shield winner will earn $55,000 in 2016, but that numbers goes up to $130,000 from 2017 to 2019. The regular season conference champion that does not win the Shield receives $35,000, with every other playoff team earning $20,000. There also is a bonus of $7,500 per regular season victory.
— U.S. Soccer will pay a $250,000 bonus to the U.S. Open Cup champion, with $60,000 going to the runner-up. The Canadian Soccer Association will pay $50,000 to the Canadian Championship winner.
— Qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League group stage yields $40,000, with an additional $4,000 paid per group stage win. Teams are given $35,000 for advancing to the quarterfinals, $40,000 for making the semifinals, $45,000 for participating in the final and $50,000 for winning the tournament.
— The CBA makes reference to a potential "US-Mexico Champions Cup," which would pay $100,000 to teams that participate and $50,000 to the winner.
— MLS rosters must be salary cap compliant by March 1. The roster freeze, ahead of the home stretch and postseason, is Sept. 15.