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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Orlando Pride Moves, MLS Ownership Mistakes, and a New Ball for MLS

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The Pride are making moves, MLS owners are making mistakes, and the new official MLS match ball makes its debut.

FBL-WC-2015-WOMEN-MATCH52-USA-JPN Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

We’ve made it through the first month of 2021, and February is already providing plenty to consider. Now that time seems to be moving at normal speed again, it actually feels to be a bit quick in relation to last year. I am not at all upset by this. Indeed, Einstein determined that time is relative, although I don’t think this is what he meant. Regardless, it feels to me like it’s a short off-season, and there’s been little downtime. So, let’s see what caught my attention this week.

The Good

There has been a flurry of activity recently regarding the rosters for the Orlando Pride. The big news is the signing of Sydney Leroux to a new three-year deal. Michael and I spoke on The Mane Land PawedCast about the possibilities of why Leroux hadn’t signed. We mentioned that she might be waiting to see what her husband, Dom Dwyer would do before making a commitment. We still don’t know what Dom is doing, but we know that Leroux is staying in the City Beautiful. Couple that with the signing of Gunnhildur “Gunny” Jónsdóttir and the rights to midfielder Erika Tymrak for the Pride, and you can see some of what Marc Skinner is trying to do.

The Bad

We should know by the end of today what is going on with the collective bargaining agreement between Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Association (MLSPA). Following a COVID-shortened season in 2020, a delayed start to the 2021 season, and all the loss of money that goes along with that, you might think that the two sides would be ready to get an agreement done. The MSLPA made some reasonable concessions:

“The union agreed to extend the CBA by one year through 2026, while also reducing the salary cap every year from 2022 to 2025. The revenue-sharing plan for the next media rights deal was also reduced from 25% to 12.5% for 2024.” - Jeff Carlisle, ESPN.

In return, MLS basically said no, and the two sides have extended the deadline for making a deal through tonight. If a deal isn’t made, or if there isn’t another extension, there will be a lockout.

I don’t understand the thinking of the owners. If the idea is to not lose more money, the revenue lost and damage done to the league due to games not being played could be substantially greater than concessions made to the players in the long term. It is in the best interest of all involved to get this sorted as quickly as possible. Given that the players have made some concessions, I think it’s time for the owners to do the same, and take away the threat of the lockout. It’s time to make sure the growth of MLS continues.

The Ugly

I’m not entirely sure that the official match ball for MLS is ugly. I’m also not sure it isn’t.

The U.S. and Canadian elements are easy to identify, as are the traditional red, white, and blue colors of past MLS match balls. There’s definitely a part of me that doesn’t care what the ball looks like, just what the Lions do with it. That being said, I am curious on what you think of the new design. Let me know in the poll below, and whatever other takes you have in the comment section.

Poll

What do you think of the new MLS Official Match Ball?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Greatest Ball since Lucille
    (8 votes)
  • 60%
    Meh
    (24 votes)
  • 17%
    Bah! You Call that a Ball?
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (explain in comments)
    (1 vote)
40 votes total Vote Now