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US Soccer Federation Reaches Agreement With Players

The U.S. Soccer Federation and national team players have reached an agreement avoiding the use of replacement players as the squad attempts to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The deal removes the threat of a player lockout or player strike for the remainder of 2005. The players will receive a 38-percent increase in their per-game compensation over the previous agreement, which expired two years ago.

In a statement Friday, U.S. Soccer president Robert Contiguglia called it "a clear win for both the fans and the sport of soccer in the United States".

The top national players are expected to begin reporting to training camp in the next few days. The are expected to be in uniform for the February 9 final-round qualifier in Trinidad and Tobago.

Some information provided by AFP.