Earlier on Monday, Jeff Carlisle of ESPN reported that Major League Soccer owners could sanction a lockout as soon as Tuesday at noon ET after rejecting the latest proposal from the MLS Players Association to restart the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It appears the players delivered a response to that story.
The Athletic's Paul Tenorio reported that all MLS players agreed to skip voluntary practice sessions on Monday. Tenorio added that owners were using the current sports landscape to alter the collective bargaining agreement between the two sides past 2020:
The negotiations are no longer focused on the pay cut. The league is trying to insert language into the CBA that will be there for every CBA to follow.— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) June 1, 2020
Minnesota United winger Ethan Finlay responded that players were using the first day of the midweek to focus on negotiations rather than "refusing" to train:
Players made a CHOICE to focus their time and energy on an important decision which includes the threat of a lockout instead of volunteering to attend on-field training for a tournament we already agreed to attend. Refuse is not the word I would use.— Ethan Finlay (@EthanFinlay13) June 1, 2020
The MLSPA agreed players will journey to Orlando for a tournament that will include all 26 clubs and serve to restart the campaign that halted after only two matchdays because of the pandemic. The union added players accepted salary reductions "and additional concessions."
According to Carlisle, though, owners want the players to increase their pay cuts from 7.5 percent to 8.75 percent. League owners also want to insert a force majeure clause that would allow either side to void the CBA in the event of a disaster such as a pandemic if five clubs suffer attendance drops of at least 25 percent compared to the previous year.
In April, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith confirmed the current CBA between players and league owners contains no force majeure clause.
MLS owners and the players are also at odds regarding a revenue-sharing plan linked to a broadcast rights deal that begins in 2023.
If owners and the MLSPA can agree to terms on a revised CBA this week, all 26 teams could assemble in Florida before the weekend of June 27-28.
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The award was not officially awarded until 1982 when it was called the Golden Shoe. It was renamed in 2010. As of 2010, ties are now broken by assists and playing time.