Impact’s Evan Bush says new MLS deal a ‘minimal loss’ for both sides

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Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush said the new collective bargaining agreement between MLS and its players represents a “minimal loss” for both sides.

The league and the MLS Players’ Association reached agreement on a new CBA Tuesday, ending 48 hours of uncertainty. The deal was ratified by the players Wednesday, paving the way for MLS to resume operations with a tournament in Orlando.

Bush, who is the Impact’s player representative on the MLS Players’ Association, spoke to the media on a video conference Wednesday and described a series of sometimes bitter negotiations that began after the players submitted their return-to-play proposal Sunday night.

“We felt it was going to be wrapped up in 24 hours, if not immediately,” Bush said. “Unfortunately, (MLS commissioner Don Garber), acting on his own judgement, decided to send back a different proposal with different force majeure language (which) would have been impossible for the players to accept.”

In addition to the force majeure issue, which would have allowed either side to back out of the CBA in the event of a disaster like the COVID-19 pandemic affecting attendance, Garber also threw in the threat of a lockout.

“It was something we’ve never experienced and it woke up a lot of players in a negative way,” Bush said.