The Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2015 now allows players to be eligible for free agency after they reach 28 years of age and play in MLS for at least eight years. As of today, twenty six players are now classified as free agents and have also announced their retirement from MLS.
Ned Grabavoy, the 32 year old midfielder for NYCFC sent out a press release saying, “It’s been a great run for me that started way back in 2003. You have to remember that this was a time when George W Bush decided to invade Iraq so there was a lot of tension in the air and watching soccer gave people a chance to set it aside for a bit. Well, it’s been 12 years since then and we’re looking at going back into Iraq again and my knees are absolutely shot. So it’s time for me to embrace the opportunity and freedom that my free agency provides by retiring and passing the torch to the next player to get run through the MLS trade wringer. Grabavoy out.”
We also spoke with Jon Busch, keeper for the Chicago Fire, to see how he was going to handle this new opportunity free agency provides. “This is going to be huge. We, the players, have been pushing for free agency for years and now we’ve finally got it just in time for me to announce that I’m retiring from MLS before I turn 40 next August. My wife and I have to plan a big party with black streamers and ‘Lordy, lordy, look who's 40’ napkins. It’s going to be amazing, but not as amazing as the ability to negotiate my pay with any team of my choosing that I’ll never actually use. Free Agency is truly the best thing that ever happened to me.”
The Nutmeg News will have more on this as the MLS Players Union gives back free-agency to get a limited supply of calcium tablets and Werthers Original (to prevent the dry mouth) for their free-agent's to be.