By Mark Vincent Lincir

The Players’ Union and MLS have agreed on a new CBA for the next five years…details will be slowly forthcoming (as usual).

I’m sure that it was give and take until the 11th hour (I knew they would want to announce something before the Red Bulls opened up their new stadium Saturday night) and ultimately will be deemed as a win-win by all.

What I like most about it is that I think the players are finally realizing that this is big business and it is their career and their livelihood we are talking about.

The league has made it clear that even though the players are valued employees, money just doesn’t grow on trees in the U.S., especially when it comes to professional soccer.

So here’s my suggestion from here on out….throw caution to the wind! The league needs clearly defined heroes and villians…tough guys and glamour boys. Every game has to be treated like it means something.

Any player quoted saying that it doesn’t matter until the playoffs needs to be fined! It all matters…all the time. You can’t tell a paying customer that the game you just played didn’t matter!

There need to be intense rivalries collectively as clubs and individually on the field. Create drama and then continue to fuel it and people will tune in.

Players need to brand themselves day in and day out if they want a bite of the real cheesecake. Want Landon money? So prove you deserve it. Get a nickname…make up a nickname…make your name a symbol (like Prince did)…be creative…find reasons for brands to want to pay you money to endorse them.

Enough with this “we’re all in this together garbage.” Yeah, the players are…to an extent. But if you are in the league and things are getting better, you’d better work your ass off to stay in it.

And if you aren’t in the league and want to get there…do something special. Set yourself apart. Copy the Mathis Mohawk and bleach it out like Petke. Come up with an original goal celebration. Make outlandish quotes to the media. FORCE people to take notice of you and to keep paying attention to your every move.

The CBA is now behind everyone…the new season is here. Make it a memorable one…get out of the gates quickly and have every team in Europe bidding for your services come July.

Be anything but ordinary…because we’ve been forced to watch that for far too long.

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