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Inside the Latest USWNT Equal Pay Breakthrough

Everything you need to know about the new CBA between the US Soccer Federation and the Women’s and Men’s national teams that expands USWNT equal pay guarantees.

As LeBron James said after he won his first NBA title in 2012, it’s about damn time.

After years of pleas, protests, politicization, and lawsuits, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), United States Women’s National Team Players Association (USWNTPA), and the United States National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA) have agreed to a landmark, historic seven-year collective bargaining agreement that achieves equal pay between the US Men’s National Team and the US Women’s National Team in several key areas, including prize money and associated bonuses at the FIFA World Cup.

The concept is simple: Equal pay for equal work, something generations of USWNT players have fought tirelessly for.

As part of the deal, US Soccer will combine and split FIFA World Cup revenue from the men’s and women’s tournaments, ensuring that both national teams receive the same compensation for both camp appearances and competitive play. With the agreement, the US becomes the first national soccer governing body to guarantee equal pay for men and women.

The terms of the deal also include expanded commercial revenue-sharing.

Additionally, both the USMNT and USWNT are guaranteed best-in-class playing and training environments, including venues, playing surfaces, travel, and scheduling — and the members of the USWNT are finally guaranteed health insurance, parental leave, and short-term disability coverage.

The US Women’s National Team is the most successful women’s international squad in history. They own four World Cup titles— including the most recent competition in 2019— four Olympic gold medals, and eight CONCACAF Gold Cup trophies. In the wake of their 2019 World Cup victory, players like Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Alex Morgan took the lead in elevating the team’s increasingly public standoff with US Soccer over pay inequality, with their fight becoming the subject of an HBO documentary, LFG.

Today, their fight isn’t entirely over, but it’s taken a major step forward worth appreciating and celebrating.

“The accomplishments in this CBA are a testament to the incredible efforts of WNT players on and off the field,” said Sauerbrunn, the USWNTPA President and a two-time World Cup champion. “The gains we have been able to achieve are both because of the strong foundation laid by the generations of WNT players that came before the current team and through our union’s recent collaboration with our counterparts at the USNSTPA and leadership at US Soccer.”

“We hope that this agreement and its historic achievements in not only providing for equal pay but also in improving the training and playing environment for National Team players will similarly serve as the foundation for continued growth of women’s soccer both in the United States and abroad,” Sauerbrunn said.

About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.