Union

MLS players ratify 5-year labor contract through 2019

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MLS players ratify 5-year labor contract through 2019

BETHESDA, Md. -- Major League Soccer players have ratified their five-year collective bargaining agreement that runs through the 2019 season.

The MLS Players Union said Thursday that 91 percent of its members voted in favor of the deal announced March 5, a day before the season opener. MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche said owners also have approved the agreement.

Players 28 or older with eight or more years of MLS service whose contracts have expired can become free agents, but with limitations on raises: 25 percent for those earning less than $100,000, 20 percent for those earning more than $100,000 and less than $200,000, and 15 percent for those earning more than $200,000.

The minimum salary for the first 24 players on each roster rises from $48,500 last year to $60,000 this season, $62,500 in 2016, $65,000 in 2017, $67,500 in 2018 and $70,250 in 2019. The minimum for remaining players, who must be 24 or younger, increases from $36,500 last season to $50,000 this year, $51,500 in 2016, $53,000 in 2017, $54,500 in 2018 and $56,250 in 2019. Players earning the lower minimum receive bonuses of $500 per league game appearance and an additional $750 per league start.

Each team's salary budget this year increased to $3.49 million from $3.1 million and will go up to $3.66 million in 2016, $3,845,000 in 2017, $4,035,000 in 2018 and $4.24 million in 2019. In addition, each team will receive new allocation money to spend in the amounts of $250,000 this year and next, $300,000 apiece in 2017 and 2018 and $350,000 in 2018.

The union estimates the average salary of players on the senior roster will rise by about $60,000 during the agreement and approach $200,000 by 2019.

Players 24 or older with at least one year of MLS service receive guaranteed contracts, a provision the union said results in 81 percent of players having guaranteed deals. Players 24 or older with at least two years of MLS service may not have more than two option years in their deals, and new contracts for other players are limited to three option years.

The union said there also are increases in league 401(k) contributions, termination pay, appearance fees, per diem for trips and relocation expense reimbursement, plus increased bonuses for league and exhibition wins and exhibition appearance fees.

Union come back to beat Atlanta United, move into 1st place in Eastern Conference

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USA Today Images/Derik Hamilton

Union come back to beat Atlanta United, move into 1st place in Eastern Conference

BOX SCORE 

CHESTER, Pa. — Kacper Przybylko and Sergio Santos assisted each other on late goals as the Philadelphia Union beat Atlanta United 3-1 Saturday night to move into first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Union (15-8-6) and Atlanta United (15-10-3) entered the game tied in points atop the conference standings. Atlanta had its four game winning streak snapped.

Przybylko gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in the 86th minute, finishing a cross from Santos with a hard shot that beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan inside the near post.

Santos punched home a cross by Przybylko in the 88th minute, capping the scoring.

Josef Martinez gave Atlanta the lead in the second minute of first half stoppage time. He scored in his 13th straight game, extending his MLS record. Martinez got open on a give-and-go with Darlington Nagbe, slipping past the onrushing goalkeeper and tapping it into the empty net.

The Union's Brenden Aaronson tied it at 1 in the 61st minute, scoring on an over-the-top pass by Haris Medunjanin.

Kacper Przybylko stars as Union top D.C. United

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USA Today Images/Bill Streicher

Kacper Przybylko stars as Union top D.C. United

BOX SCORE 

CHESTER, Pa. — Kacper Przybylko had a goal and two assists in a dominant first half and the Philadelphia Union defeated D.C. United 3-1 on Saturday night.

Przybylko scored his 12th goal from point-blank range off a cross from Kail Wagner five minutes in and the Union (14-8-6) were never challenged as they moved within a point of first-place Atlanta.

Brenden Aaronson, who helped set up Przybylko's goal, had the favor returned in the 16th minute. Przybylko slipped the ball down the middle, Aaronson made the turn and then fired from the top of the box for his second goal.

Przybylko made a similar set up for Ilsinho's fifth goal in the 36th minute. Ilsinho took the pass at the top of the box, worked his way through the defense before finding room to score.

DC United (10-10-9) didn't have a shot in the first half. Luciano Acosta bulled his way through the defense for his sixth goal in the 56th minute. United turned the pressure up in the second half with four shots on target but remained in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.