Major League Soccer has agreed a new collective bargaining agreement with players just two days before the start of the new season in order to avoid strike action taking place.
Players had threatened to walk out if their demands regarding the introduction of free agency in the league were not met, although after a day-long round of talks in Washington, MLS chief Don Garber revealed that an agreement had been struck "in principle".
"I am pleased to announce we have reached an agreement in principle with our union," he told Reuters. "We are not going into details tonight but it is great to be able to continue the momentum that we have been able to build for this league and do it in partnership with our players."
Stateside reports claim that MLS will offer free agency to players who are aged at least 28 with eight years' experience in the league. Speaking after the discussions, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando added: "The deal is done."
Defending champions LA Galaxy will take on Chicago Fire in the opening game of the new campaign in the early hours of Saturday morning.