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    Reports: Lockout fears alleviate as MLS, Players Association near deal

    It appears that the sudden public consternation between the owners and players worked, as reports on Tuesday claim that the sides have overcome their major differences and are nearing a deal. ESPN’s Taylor Twellman was the first to deliver the good news that a potential lockout should now be avoided.

    ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle reports that the league has backed down from their insistence on the force majuere clause in the deal be tied to league attendance. This was a big sticking point for the players and what seemingly caused the sudden threat of a deal not getting completed. The league has apparently caved on the matter.

    Multiple sources told ESPN that the breakthrough came as MLS backed down from having a force majeure clause tied to attendance, and instead opted for an MLSPA proposal that used a more industry-standard approach patterned after the NBA.

    A deal could be ratified as soon as Wednesday or Thursday and if leaked details are true, we could see the resumption of play by the end of June in Orlando. While nothing is over until the ink dries, the outlook appears much rosier than 48 hours ago.

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