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MLS referee dispute diminishes both sides

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As with most disputes, posturing is most important.

The Professional Soccer Referee Association has authorized its representation to strike if a collective bargaining agreement cannot be reached with Professional Referee Organization, the league's sanctioned assignor.

With a 64-1 vote (plus 11 absents) PSRA lead negotiator Steven Taylor has his union standing in a firm position on its demands ahead of two negotiating sessions this week. Taylor has said PSRA wants to reach and agreement before the MLS season opener on March 8.

The vote comes amid allegations of threats made by a high-ranking official within PRO seeking retribution upon any referees participating in unionizing.

Of all the questions that should be asked, perhaps the most essential is whether or not there needs to be civility amongst those whose jobs it is to keep the game civil?

Referees will forever be the third wheel in soccer. But they are the stabilizing necessity, and as such let's act like the gentlemen we are and reach an understanding that all negotiations will be handled quickly an privately, and out of the scope of journalists and bloggers.

The reputation of the game depends upon referees. A referee's reputation outside of the game cannot be soiled for no one drags their uniform in the mud before arriving for work and gets the respect deserved.

Meet halfway. Play the metaphorical dropped ball. Just get a deal done.

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