Mar 4, 2014, 6:33 PM EST
The Professional Referees Organization — the entity that manages officials for Major League Soccer — conducted a camp for potential replacement referees last week, a move that underscored the current tensions between the referees’ union (Professional Soccer Referees Association) and PRO. Four days ahead of season openers, the need for those replacements grows, with a PSRA spokesman saying he expects his union’s members to be locked out ahead of this weekend’s games.
Steven Goff at the Washington Post has the whole story, one in which the PSRA’s lead negotiator confirmed management “threatened a lockout.” Steve Taylor also said “I expect that call later today from Peter Walton” – the general manager of PRO.
In his mid-day YouTube Q-and-A, league commissioner Don Garber confirmed MLS had established contingencies should the league’s first choice officials be unable to officiate this weekend’s games. MLS opens its season with seven games on Saturday and an eighth on Sunday, a schedule that would require 32 officials to cover the entire slate.
Fans are always debating whether Major League Soccer has reached the big-time., but these types of struggles are a symptom of that growth. Given referee disputes impinge the four major sports leagues, it shouldn’t be surprising to see similar conflicts hinder Major League Soccer.
As with football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, this one seems destined to be resolved. Whether that resolution will be here by Saturday is another question entirely.
After five hours of negotiations on Monday were followed by another four-hour session on Tuesday, Taylor was left with little hope. From the Post:
“They have not made any significant movement in our direction on economic or non-economic issues that are still outstanding,” Taylor said after four hours of meetings in New York. The sides also met for five hours Monday. No additional meetings are scheduled this week.
Nov 20, 2014, 9:24 PM EST
Alan Pardew has enjoyed newcomer Ayoze Perez’s huge impact, as the young Spain international has netted three goals in three consecutive matches.
Nov 20, 2014, 8:19 PM EST
Following widespread discontent, convicted rapist Ched Evans won’t be back on the field for Sheffield United as expected.
Nov 20, 2014, 7:32 PM EST
Meet the supporters of D.C. United, an MLS club steeped in tradition since the league’s inception.
Nov 20, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
Tim Howard unsurprisingly takes U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year award.
Nov 20, 2014, 5:10 PM EST
Wigan Athletic shirt sponsors have ended their contract with the club due to Malkay Mackay’s illicit text messages.
Nov 20, 2014, 4:30 PM EST
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Nov 20, 2014, 3:55 PM EST
Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini are set to stay at Juventus with fresh deals.
Nov 20, 2014, 3:39 PM EST
Whelan: “I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else. I don’t think that’s offensive at all.”
Nov 20, 2014, 3:02 PM EST
Details on Geoff Cameron’s exciting new role with ProSoccerTalk.
Nov 20, 2014, 2:31 PM EST
Review of FIFA’s corruption report ordered, as Qatar, Russia scrutinized once again.
Nov 20, 2014, 1:32 PM EST
You get your say. After MLS held talks with cities in California, Nevada and Minnesota, is this the right move for the league?
Nov 20, 2014, 12:37 PM EST
Van Gaal confirms new issue is bothering Falcao.
Nov 20, 2014, 12:02 PM EST
Blind was ruled out for six months by United’s Twitter account… but there’s been a twist.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:54 AM EST
Here are the finalists for MLS 2014 awards. Agree? Disagree?
Nov 20, 2014, 9:46 AM EST
Could United pay a PL record fee for a defender?
Nov 20, 2014, 8:39 AM EST
Giroud back a month ahead of schedule to hand Gunners massive boost.
Nov 20, 2014, 8:05 AM EST
Cech set for a move to the Emirates in January according to reports.
Nov 20, 2014, 7:27 AM EST
Lampard’s loan to Man City could be extended.
Nov 19, 2014, 11:45 PM EST
Ugly scenes in the Ivory Coast.
Nov 19, 2014, 11:01 PM EST
Wow, I love the internet.
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