About the MLS Players Union
The Major League Soccer Players Union serves as the exclusive collective bargaining representative for all current players in Major League Soccer. Formed in April 2003, the Union ensures protection of the rights of all MLS Players, while also promoting their best interests.
In 2004, the Union and MLS signed the first ever collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") covering all MLS players, which ran through January 31, 2010. The current collective bargaining became effective on February 1, 2015 and runs through January 31, 2020. The new CBA provides significant benefits for MLS players. The new CBA covers running salary budgets and minimum salaries over the five year term, maintains continued 100% fully-paid health insurance benefits and increased retirement contributions from the league, while also dramatically increasing the number of players with guaranteed contracts. In addition, the CBA increases player movement rights, provides limitations on the number of unilateral options in a player's contract, and provides an expanded role for an independent arbitrator to hear disputes between MLS and players. MLS Players for the first time achieved a form of free agency within MLS just 12 years after the formation of the Union. MLS and the Union also negotiated a new Group License Agreement with the league. The revenue from this agreement allows the Union to keep the dues it charges to players at a level that is among the lowest in U.S. professional sports.
The Union is a democratic organization run by and for players, and ultimate control over the Union rests with the players. The players on each team vote by secret ballot to elect a Player Representative, and those Player Representatives elect a five-player Executive Board. The Executive Board governs the Union and makes all major decisions. The Executive Board also hires the Union's Executive Director, who runs the day-to-day operations of the Union, and its General Counsel, who provides legal advice to the Union.
Bob Foose serves as the Union's Executive Director, and Jon Newman, a partner in the law firm of Sherman, Dunn, Cohen, Leifer & Yellig, P.C., in Washington D.C., is the Union's General Counsel. Former MLS player Ty Harden works for the Player’s Union as Player Relations Manager. Mike Fucito, also a former MLS player, serves as Manager of the MLSPU's Career Development Initiative. Johnny Andris and Lara Samuels are both Staff Counsels for the Union.