Sounders Insider

Evans says MLS negotiations in stalemate; players "absolutely" willing to strike

On the negotiations: At this point there’s pretty much a stalemate. But when I’m negotiating for a house I like to get the best deal, and the person selling the house also likes to get the best deal. And at the 11th hour when they’re accepting bids you kind of battle it out. So I expect it to be the same. At this point there’s been no movement on free agency, which is the biggest talking point. I think that encompasses everything: It involves money, it involves contracts, it involved everything. It’s a big umbrealla, and I think a lot of stuff will revolve around that. At this point there’s been no movement on their side, and we’ve been told there won’t be. So that’s the sticking point. I think we had a great meeting today, and I think we’ve got a very educated and a smart group, and we’re willing to battle for what we think is right: not only right, but necessary for everybody.

On if players will strike without an agreement: Absolutely.

On these negotiations compared to the last CBA: Five years ago we were so far off in every single category and those include per diem: how much we get for breakfast on the road, how much we get for lunch, how much we get for dinner, do we get free internet at hotels. Are the hotels up to standard? Do we get aisle seats, do we get window seats on flights? Should we have to sit in the middle? There were so many things that needed to be hashed out, we knew that we would have to give somewhere. So for things to progress, we took the smaller things and we said all right if we can deal with this for the next five years, then we put ourselves to progress further. And instead of shooting ourselves in the foot and shooting for too much at the time. But the league isn’t where it was five years ago – we all know that. It’s leaps and bounds to what it was. So this time we feel comfortable in knowing that we’re in a good position, and so we’ve gotten everything taken care of except for this one main issue (free agency), and that’s going to be the biggest thing. In my mind that’s been the biggest difference from five years ago to now.