MLSPA and MLS Board of Governors have ratified a collective bargaining agreement that will go through 2027. After many months of back and forth, fans were unsure if the season would start on time. Now that an agreement has been met, players will start reporting to preseason camps in February. 


With the recent ratification of the CBA, the 2021 season will begin as planned on April 2nd. Major League Soccer has released the official CBA specifics detailed below:

The main news coming out of this agreement is that players will receive 100% of their salary and bonuses for the upcoming season. This was a hot topic with many owners claiming hardship from the pandemic, but it looks like both parties agreed to do the right thing. 

Another exciting piece of the agreement is the salary cap increase over the next six years. 

YearSalary BudgetGeneral







on Roster*


*Clubs have the opportunity to exceed these figures with spending on up to three Designated Players and up to three players through the League’s under-22 player initiative.

The table above pretty much means that the salary cap (what teams can spend on their roster’s salary) will be increasing dramatically over the next six years. In some price categories, almost double from the current cap! This is great news for the growth of MLS. Over the next six years, you will see more expensive rosters which will create a more competitive league. 

“MLS will increase player spending by an amount equal to 12.5 percent of the incremental media revenue, as defined in the CBA, in 2023 and 2024, increasing to 25 percent for the 2025, 2026 and 2027 seasons.” per

Beginning in 2023, players will start to get a piece of the media revenue generated from the new national broadcast contracts, increasing over the timeline of the CBA. The current national broadcast contracts run through 2022.

A few other items of note: 

  • Minimum salaries for players on the senior roster increase from $81,375 in 2021 to $125,875 in 2027.
  • Minimum salaries for players on the reserve roster increase from $63,547 in 2021 to $97,700 in 2024.
  • Starting in 2026, players who are 24 and have four years of MLS experience may enter into free agency, which is a decrease from the current of five years. 

Overall, it seems to be a win for the players. While I am sure there are many things in the works from MLSPA, this looks like a great start. The last thing this league needs is a lockout, and we’ve avoided it yet again! 

The FC Dallas season begins April 2nd or 3rd. See you then.


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