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MLS Collective Bargaining negotiations: Where things stand (Part I: Free Agency)

The 2020 MLS season — which will be the league’s 25th — is set to start on Feb. 29. And even before that, the league will be participating in the Concacaf Champions League, to say nothing of preseason training which starts up next week. The strides the league has taken since launching in 1996 are hard to quantify — in part due to the league’s opaque structure and byzantine roster rules.

Still, the league has grown from eight teams at the start of its existence, survived near-extinction at the start of the 21st century and now sits on the cusp of a robust 30-team league.