MLS, players agree in principle to 5-year deal, avoiding possible strike

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Sporting Kansas City unveiled new kits for the upcoming 2015 season on March 4. (Photo: Jason Lamb/WDAF-TV)

Major League Soccer and its players’ union have agreed in principle to a five-year labor contract, averting a possible strike ahead of Friday’s season opener.

The deal, the culmination of talks that began last weekend, was announced Wednesday night and would replace the contract that expired Jan. 31.

MLS’s 20th season begins this weekend, with the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy hosting the Chicago Fire in the opener.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber says “this agreement will provide a platform for our players, ownership and management to work together to help build Major League Soccer into one of the great soccer leagues in the world.”