On Wednesday, April 5th, the U.S Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National team Players Association issued a joint statement announcing that they had come to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) through the end of 2021. This agreement comes after months of negotiations between the Players Association and the Federation regarding equal pay after accusations of wage discrimination were levied by Women’s National Team players against the Federation.
Joint Statement from U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association:
“We are pleased to announce that U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement which will continue to build the women’s program in the U.S, grow the game of soccer worldwide, and improve the professional lives of players on and off the field. We are proud of the hard work and commitment to thoughtful dialogue reflected through this process, and look forward to strengthening our partnership moving forward.”
The new CBA includes greatly improved terms and is expected to include significant increases in both direct and bonus compensation for national team players, as well as per diem payments equal to the men’s national team, enhanced travel benefits and increased financial support for players who are pregnant or adopting. In addition to the increased financial implications, the WNT Players Association also gains licensing and sponsorship rights.
“I am incredibly proud of this team and the commitment we have shown through this entire process,” said national team midfielder Megan Rapinoe. “While I think there is still much progress to be made for us and for women more broadly, I think the [Women’s National Team Players Association] should be very proud of this deal and feel empowered moving forward.”
As part of the agreement, U.S. Soccer will continue to pay the National Women’s Soccer League salaries of national team players allocated to the professional league. NWSL released the list of allocated players on Thursday morning.
The following is a club-by-club list of U.S. federation players for the 2017 NWSL season:
Boston Breakers: Rose Lavelle*
Chicago Red Stars: Julie (Johnston) Ertz, Alyssa Naeher, Christen Press and Casey Short*
Houston Dash: Morgan Brian and Carli Lloyd
FC Kansas City: Sydney Leroux, Amy Rodriguez and Becky Sauerbrunn
North Carolina Courage: Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams*
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Alex Morgan
Portland Thorns FC: Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg, Allie Long* and Emily Sonnett
Seattle Reign FC: Megan Rapinoe
Sky Blue FC: Kelley O’Hara
Washington Spirit: None
* = New federation player in 2017
“We believe this is another important step to continue our longstanding efforts to drive the growth of women’s soccer in the United States,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said of the CBA. “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.”
This deal marks a massive win for female players at both the NWSL and USWNT level. As the NWSL enters it’s record extending fifth year of competition, the infrastructure that underpins the league has continued to be developed. In early February the league announced a three-year broadcast deal with the Lifetime Network. The ratification of the new CBA does much to increase stability for a league already in uncharted territory and does even more to reward players who compete at the highest level of professional soccer in America.