3. MLS & MLSPA agree new CBA
This takeaway really refers to the league as a whole, with MLS and the players association finally agreeing a new collective bargaining agreement which covers the next five seasons. It also avoids the potential embarrassment of a work stoppage during a season when the league will be celebrating 25 seasons of existence.
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The players will benefit from more money being invested in them via the salary budget, general allocation money and performance bonuses. As per The Seattle Times, this increases from around $8.5 million last year to just over $11.6 million in 2024. (This includes the minimum annual salary for senior players increasing to $109,200 by 2024.)
Of particular interest is the new wrinkle to the third designated player (DP). MLS will now have the right to limit the third DP to the maximum TAM salary unless that player is 23 or younger, which should encourage teams to invest more in youth.
This could provide an advantage for the Sounders specifically, given their concerted efforts to develop players through the academy. Overall, there is plenty for both the league and players to like about the new agreement, as MLS aims to continue growing and improving its reputation on a global level.