The USL Championship and the USL Players Association confirmed they reached an agreement on a plan for the return to play for the 2020 season.
Two weeks ago, the USL Championship's Board
of Governors voted to continue the season at club venues and set a provisional date of July 11 for the restart. On Friday, the league stated that clubs and players are actively preparing for a July 11
The league and players needed to agree on the protocols for the return to play. Unlike MLS and the NWSL, which will both start out with bubble events featuring all their teams at
a single site, USL Championship games will be played at club venues and necessitate visiting teams in some cases taking commercial flights.
Multiple sources told
ESPN that player contracts will be honored in full. The parties
had been going back and forth
on how steep pay-cuts would be.
The league and players will also resume negotiations on a first collective bargaining agreement in the coming weeks. Negotiations first
began in February 2019, three months after the USL recognized the USLPA as an independent labor union and the exclusive bargaining representative of the players.
As recently as in
January, the USLPA termed labor talks as "constructive and beneficial." Efforts to finalize an agreement were then set back when the coronavirus hit and the league shut down after the opening weekend