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MLS is coming back: Owners, players agree on a new CBA

MLS is expected to reveal details of its Orlando tournament soon

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SOCCER: MAR 01 MLS - Seattle Sounders FC v Chicago Fire
Brandt Bronico of the Fire, and Jordan Morris of the Sounders
Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There will be no lockout, after all.

MLS announced Wednesday that the league and players have completed a new collective bargaining agreement. As expected, the deal includes a plan to restart the 2020 season with a tournament in Orlando.

MLS said the details of the tournament will be announced in the coming days. The Athletic reports teams will all play at least three group stage games—which will count toward regular season standings—before the knockout stage begins. Ideally, the league would return to local markets to finish the regular season after the Orlando tournament ends, but that will depend on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to ESPN, players agreed to a 7.5% salary cut, across-the-board. The players also agreed to include a force majeure clause, which allows either party to opt out of the CBA due to a catastrophic event, such as the current pandemic. MLS owners had reportedly wanted a force majeure clause that was specifically tied to attendance metrics, but eventually backed off after the players pushed back.

Additionally, the CBA was extended by one year, and is now set to expire in January 2026, six months before the start of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The league suspended matches and training on March 12, after the first two weekends of play. Since then, teams have begun individual and small group training sessions. Teams will be allowed to stay in local markets to advance to full team training, before heading to Orlando in late June.