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Sources: USL, players union reach deal for July 11 return

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The USL Championship and the USL Players Association have struck a tentative agreement on return to play, sources have told ESPN.

The agreement is subject to ratification by both sides, and an announcement could come by the end of this week.

The league is provisionally scheduling a return to play on July 11. The presence of fans will depend on the restrictions placed by local and state authorities. If the games take place as hoped, the USL Championship would be the first U.S. league to play matches in their home venues.

The two sides have been in negotiations since the temporary suspension of the USL Championship season was announced on March 12. Health and safety protocols and economic relief for the league were among the final issues to be settled. Multiple sources tell ESPN that players contracts will be honored in full, a significant win for the players.

The two sides are also in the process of negotiating the first Collective Bargaining Agreement in league history. Once the details of the return-to-play agreement are finalized. the two sides are expected to resume negotiations on the CBA.