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Sports Illustrated

USWNT, USMNT Players React to Historic U.S. Soccer Equal Pay Agreement

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced a pair of historic collective bargaining agreements with its men’s and women’s senior national teams early Wednesday morning that will provide unprecedented terms of equal pay to members of both squads.

The new CBAs are highlighted by a provision that will combine and then split World Cup prize money awarded by FIFA to both U.S. national teams. U.S. Soccer said that it’s the first national federation to equalize World Cup prize money. 

The labor deals, which have already been approved and ratified, will run through 2028.

“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,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “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.”

Under the terms of the new agreements, the funds earned at the World Cups in 2022 (men’s) and 2023 (women’s) will be pooled, and the portion paid to the players will be 90%, split equally between members of the two squads, with U.S. Soccer earning the remaining 10%. In 2026 and 2027, the players will split 80% of the pooled prize money, with the federation receiving the remaining 20%.

The agreements end several years of contentious negotiation that escalated when the USWNT filed a gender discrimination lawsuit in 2019 seeking improved working conditions and approximately $67 million in back pay and damages. The case was finally settled this February, but the $24 million agreement between the USSF and USWNT was contingent on the finalization of new CBAs.

With the new labor deals in place, current and former members of the two national teams took to social media to celebrate the historic achievement in the fight for equal pay.

In addition to the equalization of World Cup prize money, U.S. Soccer will also share a portion of its broadcast and sponsorship income with the two teams, split 50/50, as well as a share of ticket revenue. The federation also agreed to provide match venues, fields, hotel accommodations, support and staffing of equal quality and comparable cost to both the USMNT and USWNT, as well as the same number of charter flights. Select USWNT players also will be afforded health and short-term disability insurance, as well as parental leave.