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MLSPA Releases Salary Information. Has Progress Been Made?

Kind of weird when your salary becomes public information

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I am sure you have heard about this by now, but the Major League Soccer Players Union have been in the news over the last couple of days with the ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and the release of salary information.

Cool, right?

I have a couple of takes on this, but here is a good recap of the new CBA from Pro Soccer Talk and kind of speaks for itself:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">New MLS CBA ratified — key details on free agency, salary cap emerge: <a href="http://t.co/KAvzwJts0x">http://t.co/KAvzwJts0x</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLS?src=hash">#MLS</a></p>&mdash; ProSoccerTalk (@ProSoccerTalk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ProSoccerTalk/status/621817065553264640">July 16, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The key takeaway for me is the free agency issue and that there is now a realistic shot of players garnering free agency during their time in MLS.  I invite you to read the article if you have further questions.

But for me, the bigger issue is the release of salary information for the players.  Look, I HATE the idea of any salary information being public.  I think it is truly poor policy and what someone makes should be completely a private thing.  But since the information has been public for as long as I have followed the league, it is something I feel like I should comment on.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Updated players union list of all MLS player salaries for 2015 <a href="http://t.co/qqKPJcWwJx">http://t.co/qqKPJcWwJx</a></p>&mdash; Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) <a href="https://twitter.com/GrantWahl/status/622061687131107329">July 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

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I have zero problem with what Colorado Rapids players like Kevin Doyle, Dillon Powers, Nick LaBrocca or anyone else is making in the league.  Salaries are what they are.

But what bothers me is the discrepancy between the haves and the have nots.  Sure, you have players making over a million dollars a year.  And that is cool.  But you also have players making $50,000 or $60,000 a year, and while that is an improvement, it is hard to live on that in many markets in the USA and Canada.  I know the players have made a great deal of progress with this CBA, but salaries truly need to increase if MLS is ever going to be a destination league.

Yes, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, David Villa, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Robbie Keane, etc have all come into this league and they all make substation salaries.  And it is terrific for the league to have these players in the fold, but until the salaries are increased and the discrepancy shrunk between those haves and have nots, MLS will never truly be the league it aspires to be.  Progress has been made no doubt, and I hope it continues to be made as this league has so much to offer but players have got to have that incentive to play for Major League Soccer, and whether it likes to be said or not, salaries are a big part of it.