After years of dispute, U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Team have reached a settlement on long outstanding equal pay claims by some of the top players in the sport. As part of the agreement, U.S. Soccer will pay $22 million to the players involved in the case, who had sued in March 2019 arguing that they received less pay than the Men’s National Team for international friendlies, World Cup participation and other events.
In a joint statement, the sides said: “We are pleased to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, we will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in soccer. Getting to this day has not been easy. The U.S. Women’s National Team players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes. Today, we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow. Together, we dedicate this moment to them. We look forward to continuing to work together to grow women’s soccer and advance opportunities for young girls and women in the United States and across the globe.”
The case is currently on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the parties have jointly requested that the case end as a result of the agreement. In addition to the payments to the players, other terms of the agreement include:
- U.S. Soccer will also pay an additional $2 million into an account to benefit the USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer. Each player will be able to apply for up to $50,000 from this fund.
- The settlement is contingent on the ratification of a new CBA for the USWNT.
- Final approval of the settlement by the district court will be scheduled once a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the USWNT and U.S. Soccer is ratified.
- Once the USWNT CBA is ratified and the settlement receives final approval from the court, this agreement will fully resolve the litigation.