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Will players follow through with strike?

On Thursday, Major League Soccer players voted they would go on strike if a new collective bargaining agreement with the league is not reached by MLS's season opener on March 25.

As the league and its players negotiate for a new CBA, you have to wonder if this is a stance that the players will stick by, or if this is just their way of jockeying for position against the league.

Clearly the players deserve more options in fighting for guaranteed contracts, free agency rights and such. And it is astonishing what some player salaries are listed at in this league.

Did you know that you can make $3 an hour more dressing up as the Easter Bunny than Chicago Fire midfielder Peter Lowry's made in 2009 if you spread his contract across a 40-hour workweek? That's right. Lowry was making less than $9.75 an hour last year. I came across a part-time Easter Bunny gig that is advertising for $13 an hour.

Granted, this is the extreme low end of MLS's salary range. But it goes to show that many players have had to sacrifice quite a bit in this league. The single-entity business structure is just fine for ownership and it has helped this league establish itself. But somewhere down the line the players need to be rewarded.

As much as we don't want to see this happening during a World Cup year, during tough economic times, it's important from the players' perspective that they take this stand.

Fire close out preseason with draw: The Fire overcame a second-half deficit and played the Houston Dynamo to a 1-all draw Thursday in Houston. Marco Pappa netted a goal in the 71st minute as Chicago capped off its preseason with a 3-1-2 record.

New TV deal on the horizon?: Some of you are wondering what the plan is for the Fire televising their local games. Last season they were on My50. This year, it is looking like they most likely will be on Comcast SportsNet. There is no official word on the matter just yet from either the Fire or CSN, but Fire fans probably will be treated to some high-definition soccer when Chicago is playing at Toyota Park.