May. 13, 2016
U.S. Soccer Reaches CBA Agreement with USWNT
After a year of protesting and making negotiations with the U.S. Soccer Federation, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team has reached a Collective Bargaining Agreement deal, which will last until 2021, carrying into the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics.
The deal was reached during a training camp in Dallas where the USWNT is preparing for two games against Russia on April 6 and 9.
U.S. Soccer President Sunil Galati issued a statement Wednesday morning about the new deal. "We believe this is another important step to continue our longstanding efforts to drive the growth of women's soccer in the United States," Gulati said. "This agreement helps to ensure the strength of the women's national team, provide stability and growth potential for the National Women's Soccer League, and over time strengthen the elite player development process at the grassroots level. We believe our continued partnership will ensure a bright future for our sport for years to come."
Players of the USWNT wrote their thoughts on the announcement of this exciting day, which the team has been looking forward to for quite some time now. Defender Meghan Klingenberg posted a statement on Twitter of the new CBA,
"I'm proud of the tireless work that the players and our bargaining team put in to promote the game and ensure a bright future for American players," Klingenberg said. "Through our dedication to a new process of bargaining with a focus on partnership, we were able to negotiate an optimal structure that will advance the game and set the stage for future agreements. We are excited the further strengthen the USWNTPA through our new revenue generating opportunities and abilities. This deal enables us to explore our collective value and create new possibilities for our members."
Not only will this agreement designate to players of the USWNT but also players of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). Many of the players on the National team also play for teams in the NWSL, which is entering its fifth season.
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who plays for the USWNT and the Seattle Reign of the NWSL, released a statement on Twitter shortly after the news broke. "I have been so proud of this team through this entire process," Rapinoe said. "Our commitment to one another, our efforts growing Women's Soccer domestically and across the world, and our continued fight for equality as female athletes in this country has been tremendous. I believe this deal is a crucial step forward in the future of the WNT. As a PA we feel ground that we are better today than we were yesterday and will be better tomorrow than we are today. Our commitment remains resolute to continue the push towards equality for women."
In March of 2016, USWNT stars Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Becky SauerBrunn, and Hope Solo all came forward with the team's attorney to talk on the TODAY show about the issue of not receiving the same pay as the U.S. Men's National Team. Co-captain of the team, Carli Lloyd, said to Matt Lauer the importance of speaking up for this matter. "I think the timing is right,'' Lloyd told Matt Lauer. "I think that we've proven our worth over the years. Just coming off of a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large. And we want to continue to fight."
Hope Solo continued the conversation on TODAY using her experience as what she's been through in the fight for equality. "I've been through numerous CBA negotiations, and honestly not much has changed,'' Solo said. "We believe now the time is right because we believe it's a responsibility for women's sports, specifically women's soccer, to really do whatever it takes for equal pay and equal rights and to be treated with respect."
When the USWNT won the World Cup in 2015, they made $2 million collectively. However, when the USMNT lost in the round of 16 in the men's 2014 World Cup, they made $9 million. Yeah, you read that correctly. The men made more money losing than the women did winning. The men's German team, who won the 2014 World Cup, made $36 million. Again, the USWNT made $2 for winning the World Cup in 2015.
Hopefully with this new agreement, the U.S. Soccer Federation will still to its word and give the women what they deserve since they win more games, World Cups, Olympics, and bring in more revenue and have a larger fan base than the men do.