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United Soccer League players announce formation of players' union

Players in the second tier of U.S. men's soccer leagues have formed a union for collective bargaining.

The United Soccer League said Tuesday its USL Championship clubs have recognized the USL Players Association as their players' exclusive bargaining representative.

USL Chief Executive Officer Alec Papadakis says "in many ways, this is simply the next, natural step in the evolution of building a great and enduring professional soccer league."

Major League Soccer, the only first-tier men's league in the U.S., reached its first collective bargaining agreement in December 2003 with the MLS Players Union, which changed its name to the MLS Players Association last December.

Players on loan from MLS teams to any of the USL clubs will still be represented by the MLS Players Association, whose collective bargaining agreement requires a $67,500 minimum salary this year for senior players and $54,500 for reserve players.

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