Monday, December 20, 2004

Sports Labor Unrest - In American Soccer?!?

Yes, it appears that the sport of soccer has finally hit the big time in the United States. The evidence? The U.S. Soccer Federation is engaged in a long-running dispute with the U.S. Soccer Players Association, a union that includes anyone who has ever suited up for the men's national team. The players have been playing without a collective bargaining agreement since 2002. Things came to a head this month when players refused to show for a training camp, forcing the USSF to cancel two friendlies in January. Looming in the distance is the first game of the last round of World Cup qualifying, in Trinidad and Tobago in February. If something isn't worked out soon, the USSF threatens to send a team of "replacement" players to TnT.

I tend to agree with Galarcep that the USSF may view this as the best time to make a stand, with our first two qualifies likely to only earn us 1 point (the second is away to Mexico, where we've never won a match) and that the use of a scab team therefore wouldn't hurt so much. That being said, I'd hate to see the USSF and the players piss away a lot of what has been built up in this country in the past few years around the game of soccer. Get this nonsense settled before any World Cup stuff is affected.

And, just for the record, as an uncapped USSF registered goalkeeper, I will not cross a picket line to wear the colors. Try and contain your disappointment.

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