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MLS, union agree to extend deadline

Major League Soccer and its players union agreed today to give themselves a couple of extra weeks to try to work out a new collective bargaining agreement, to replace the one that otherwise was scheduled to expire Sunday.

Here's the news release just sent out:

Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Major League Soccer Players Union (Players Union) today announced that the two organizations have agreed to continue to negotiate through February 12, as they work towards reaching a new collective bargaining agreement.

“While we still have areas of disagreement, the talks have been constructive and both parties believe it makes sense to continue to work hard to reach agreement,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This extension provides both MLS and the players the opportunity to continue our discussions while clubs are in training camps preparing for the 2010 MLS season.”

“Both the Players Union and MLS have concluded that a new agreement will not be reached by February 1, but we have agreed to continue to talk and we will be meeting over the next two weeks to determine if a new agreement can be reached,” said Players Union Executive Director Bob Foose. “In the meantime, MLS Players are reporting to training camp, and preparations for the 2010 season will continue.”

The current CBA, the first in MLS history, is a five-year agreement that had been scheduled to expire on Jan. 31, 2010.

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