MLS, Players Union Agree to Federal Mediation

Since the INITIAL WIRE REPORTS don't use the word arbitration then this is apparently a case of accepting a third party into the room for purposes other than serving coffee and wiping up blood.

The item on mlsnet.com is the very definition of the word "terse":

NEW YORK -- Major League Soccer confirmed that MLS and the MLS Players Union have agreed to meet next week in Washington, D.C. to continue collective bargaining agreement negotiations. As part of the meetings, MLS and the Union have jointly accepted the invitation of George H. Cohen, the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), to serve as a mediator during the discussions.

Here, courtesy of Brian Shea, is Mr. Cohen's Bio

Is this a species of progress? Well, it's hard to see how it could hurt.We'd like to know exactly how this came about, and perhaps someone will clue us in later today.