The U.S. Soccer Federation has agreed to pay the men’s and women’s teams equally.
The federation announced separate collective bargaining agreements through December 2028 with the unions for both national teams on Wednesday, ending years of negotiations.
US Soccer, under the agreements, will become “the first Federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money” awarded to the teams for participating in World Cups.
“This is a truly historic moment,” said US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone in a statement on Wednesday. “These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world.”
Cone added: “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.”
Striker Margaret Pruce said she was grateful the right thing had been done.
“I feel a lot of pride for the girls who are going to see this growing up, and recognize their value rather than having to fight for it. However, my dad always told me that you don’t get rewarded for doing what you’re supposed to do – and paying men and women equally is what you’re supposed to do,” Purce said. “So I’m not giving out any gold stars, but I’m grateful for this accomplishment and for all the people who came together to make it so.”
The unions agreed to pool FIFA’s payments for the men’s World Cup later this year and next year’s Women’s World Cup, as well as for the 2026 and 2027 tournaments.
Each player will get matching game appearance fees in what the USSF said makes it the first federation to pool FIFA prize money in this manner.
“We saw it as an opportunity, an opportunity to be leaders in this front and join in with the women’s side and U.S. Soccer. So we’re just excited that this is how we were able to get the deal done,” said Walker Zimmerman, a defender who is part of the U.S. National Team Players Association leadership group.
For lesser tournaments, such as those run by the governing body of North America, players will earn identical game bonuses. And for exhibition games, players will receive matching appearance fees and performance payments based on the match result and opponent rank. Players who don’t dress will earn a fee that is the equivalent of participating in a national team training camp.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NPR