Major League Soccer and its players ratified a five-year labor agreement that allowed the season to start on time.
Eighty-four percent of players voted to approve, the MLS Players Union said Tuesday. Owners ratified the deal within the past week, league spokesman Dan Courtemanche said. The collective bargaining agreement was reached March 20.
Under the deal, all players 24 and over with three years of MLS service receive guaranteed contracts. The minimum salary for senior players increased from $34,000 to $40,000 this year and goes up to $42,000 next season, $44,000 in 2012, $46,500 in 2013 and $48,500 in 2014.
Players whose contracts have expired can go into a re-entry draft. Each team's salary budget increased from $2.31 million last year to $2.55 million this season. It will go up to $2.68 million in 2011, $2.81 million in 2012, $2.95 million in 2013 and $3.1 million in 2014.