Court dismisses class-action lawsuit involving Bradley, Yedlin, Dempsey

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A U.S. District Court in Texas has dismissed the suit, filed by three youth clubs against the trio and the MLS Players Union

A U.S. District Court in Texas has dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed by a trio of youth clubs against the MLS Players Union and U.S. national team stars Michael Bradley, DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey.

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The court, representing the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas, ruled Wednesday that the suit lacked personal jurisdiction over the Players Union and specific jurisdiction over the trio of players, according to ESPNFC.

Crossfire Premier in Washington state, Chicago-based club Sockers FC and the Dallas Texans filed the suit in July in hope of overturning precedent that has denied youth clubs in the U.S. from receiving payment as part of a player's transfer fee — a practice sanctioned by FIFA.

U.S. Soccer has avoided the payments by citing the 1998 antitrust case of Fraser v. MLS, but Yedlin's transfer from the Seattle Sounders to Tottenham in 2014 reignited the debate.

In a July statement, the three clubs clarified that Bradley, Yedlin and Dempsey were included in the suit "solely for a legal reason to maintain the Complaint" and that the teams had "no desire to, in essence, sue their own kids."

The MLS Players Union released a statement Thursday in which executive director Bob Foose said the organization was "very satisfied" with the decision.

"We have said consistently that training compensation and solidarity payments are bad for players, and would treat players differently than employees in any other industry, including sports," Foose said. "For example, it's absurd to think that a business school could demand a fee from a company that hired one of its students. Yet, that's the kind of payments the youth clubs seek.

"No player should have the market for his services adversely affected by these payments. This is not to say that players and the Players Union don’t believe in and support youth development. We do, but it should not be funded through a tax on randomly selected professional players' contracts."

ESPNFC reports the clubs have now taken their case to FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber.

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