Snow forces extension of labor deadline

[MLS] For the second time, the deadline for Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Union to reach an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been extended through Feb. 25. Talks stalled this week when the storm that buried the East Coast in snow prevented  MLS Commissioner Don Garber and other league representatives from traveling to Washington to meet union officials.

The CBA expired on Jan. 31, but management and union negotiators agreed to extend talks through Friday.

The new Feb. 25 deadline comes only four weeks before the 2010 MLS season is begin in Seattle with the opening game between the Sounders and the expansion Philadelphia Union.

Preseason training has begun across the country, in the meantime.

The main issues in the negotiations:

-- the lack of free agency within MLS's single-entity structure that prevents players from moving freely between MLS teams when their contracts expire; and

-- the lack of guaranteed contracts that allow teams to make major roster changes in midseason when the summer transfer window opens.

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