U.S. Soccer announced early Wednesday historic collective bargaining agreements with its men’s and women’s national teams that will achieve equal pay.
The details of the deals, which will go into effect on June 1, will see both teams receive similar compensation for all competitions, including the FIFA World Cup, as well as the same commercial revenue-sharing mechanism. They will also guarantee that players on both teams remain among the highest paid in the world.
“This is a truly historic moment. These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. “U.S. Soccer and the USWNT and USMNT players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States.”
Becky Sauerbrunn, Portland Thorns defender and president of the United States Women’s National Team Players Association, spoke highly of the agreement.
“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 U.S. Soccer,” she said. “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.”
Walker Zimmerman, Nashville SC center-back and a member of the United States National Soccer Team Players Association, was positive the agreement would lead to further change in the sport.
“They said equal pay for men and women was not possible, but that did not stop us and we went ahead and achieved it,” he said. “We hope this will awaken others to the need for this type of change, and will inspire FIFA and others around the world to move in the same direction.”