The USWNT finally won its biggest battle off the field: equal pay.
The United States Women’s National Team has pushed for a equality for years now, and its talks with U.S. Soccer finally came to a close after over a year of negotiating. It took countless meetings, conference calls and even threats of strikes but the federation would not budge, until now.
The agreement comes only days after the U.S. women’s national hockey team reached a new agreement after announcing the team would skip the upcoming World Cup if conditions were not improved. They got what they wanted, and now the women’s national soccer team did too.
It was announced Wednesday that the deal had been made when U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati tweeted:
— Sunil Gulati (@sunilgulati) April 5, 2017
Throughout the talks, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn and Hope Solo filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which helped get the ball rolling with the federation.
Megan Rapinoe, who has been an important player for the team over the years and even caused controversy when kneeling during the national anthem. She has also been a vital player in these talks over the labor disputes and tweeted a statement about the agreement.
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) April 5, 2017
The deal will help head coach Jill Ellis go through a bigger player pool to bring in players to the national team while also improving the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) as U.S. Soccer will pay the salaries of allocated players.
It is a five-year deal that will last through 2021, covering the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics.
The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) also gives an increase compensation, both direct and bonuses as well as equal per diems as the men’s teams and better accommodations for hotels.
However, the team will not receive equal pay to the men’s team, but this is still a massive improvement and a huge win for the women’s national team. In time, things will surely continue to improve for the USWNT.
The team will face Russia in two friendlies this week in Frisco, Texas and Houston.