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USL Players Unionize

Per Steven Goff of the Washington Post  USL Championship players have unionized in an attempt to form collective bargaining power and come to a formal labor agreement with the league. Obviously, many people hear the words "unionize" and "collective bargaining agreement" and instantaneously think of labor standoffs and strikes, but it seems that this development is just another step in the formalization and legitimization of the USL as the premier division 2 pro-league in this country. Goff notes in his article that the league has welcomed this negotiation, and it seems that both parties view this next step as an important movement forward in the league's expansion.

Of course, my first thought when hearing this is what does this mean for Athletic? In a way, being an expansion team at this juncture is probably the best case scenario for the Club. Given that a CBA will likely establish league minimum salaries and possible roster restrictions (Salary Cap?), it's probably better that Hartford is starting fresh rather than having to reconstruct an already existing squad. In fact, anything like a salary cap probably levels the playing field a bit for Athletic versus some of the more established clubs like Louisville and Cincinnati, who could certainly spend more at this time.

I'd be shocked if the CBA looked like the latest MLS CBA, which included the addition of restricted free agency for players and more economic rights in light of the league's most recent TV deal. Let's just hope that whatever the deal may be, it gets done in an orderly fashion before kick off in March so that we can avoid all the negative superlatives that accompany labor negotiations in the sporting world.

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