In today’s edition of New England Revolution notebook, we take a look at the latest in negotiations between MLS and the MLSPA, Kekuta Manneh Signing With Austin and Jordan Morris loan to Swansea City.
On Friday, just a few days after MLS Commissioner Donald Garber sent a message to fans regarding the CBA negotiations, the temperatures cooled a bit. In a statement put out by MLS, the league says both sides met and that the MLS Players Association presented the league with a counter-offer. Per the league, they will review the proposal and will continue to meet with the MLSPA in order to reach an agreement.
pic.twitter.com/0teCwgWWqG— MLS Communications (@MLS_PR) January 23, 2021
All of this comes after the league informed the players that it would invoke the force majeure clause in the CBA they agreed to last year, a move that could terminate the CBA. In the league’s first proposal to the players there weren’t any cuts to players’ salaries in 2021 but the league’s major ask was extending the CBA two years on the back end. That would freeze player’s benefits, salary growth, and the potential upside from renegotiating right after the new television rights deals are signed.
As of now the teams in the league do not have a training report date, a preseason schedule, or an exact date to when the regular season will start. Hopefully, if both sides are able to resolve this quickly the soccer will start to flow once again in MLS.
Jordan Morris To Swansea
Another big piece of MLS news on Friday came in the form of Jordan Morris’s loan to Swansea City becoming official. The 26-year-old will remain with the English Championship side for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. Since joining the Seattle Sounders in 2017 he has scored 35 goals and tallied 20 assists in 105 MLS games. At the national team level Morris has scored 10 goals in 39 USMNT appearances.
When Morris came out of Stanford he did have overseas options but decided to play for his hometown Seattle Sounders. Morris is joining a Swansea team that is eyeing a promotion to the Premier League with their 13-4-7 (46 points) record good for second in the table behind Norwich City (53 points). Swansea will need to stay in the top two to earn an automatic promotion to the EPL or be stuck fighting out for the third and final spot in a playoff.
So why is this Morris news newsworthy for us in New England? Well, just speculation. But Morris wants to continue to play for the national team and in order to do so, he needs minutes. With the uncertainty of the start of MLS, it wouldn’t be a shock if that was a driver in him departing for Swansea. After all, the majority of the USMNT starters are currently playing in Europe. We saw a similar departure from the USWNT from NWSL over the past year with a lack of games causing players to look elsewhere for minutes.
Kekuta Manneh Signs With Austin
On Friday Austin FC announced that they had signed 26-year-old forward Kekuta Manneh to a contract. Manneh spent the later stages of the 2020 MLS season with the New England Revolution. In that stint he appeared in six matches, two starts, scored one goal and tallied one assist.
New England traded for Manneh on August 16th from FC Cincinnati. In exchange for Manneh, the Revolution only gave up an international roster slot thru the end of the 2020 MLS season. Manneh has appeared in 155 MLS matches and made 89 starts with 31 goals and 19 assists.
When he arrived in New England he wasn’t in proper fitness and while there were flashes of something Manneh never quite made the desired impact. Manneh will have a familiar New England face in the locker room. Midfielder Diego Fagundez signed with the expansion club a few weeks back.
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