NEW YORK — Major League Soccer and the Major League Soccer Players Association have approved amendments to the collective bargaining agreement, meaning the 2021 season is set to kickoff on April 17, 2021.
For the last six weeks, discussions and negotiations were taking place delaying, and nearly forcing a lockout of the season that was originally supposed to start on April 3, 2021. The new CBA was approved on Feb. 8, 2021.
“We now move on to a 2021 season that we hope can reunite supporters and players in stadiums all across North America to enjoy and advance the game we all love,” the MLSPA said in a statement.
The deal runs through the 2027 season. Players will receive their full salaries this season and extends the CBA for two seasons. The league has not seen a lockout since it’s first season in 1996.
“We haven’t had a work stoppage. That’s a credit to the respect we have for our union,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
Garber said the league is forecasted to lose an estimated $1 billion dollars in 2021.
The league hopes to see fans in the stands, but Garber said he is unaware of any potential COVID-19 vaccine timelines due to their availability. He added that the players have not jumped in line for the vaccine.
Garber expects schedules for the season to be released in March.