US Soccer Guarantees Equal Pay Through 2028. Here’s What That Means


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KASHIMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 5: Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States celebrates scoring with teammates during a game between Australia and USWNT at Kashima Soccer Stadium on August 5, 2021 in Kashima, Japan. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Today marks a big day in the fight for equal pay in sports. The US Soccer Federation has reached a historic agreement with the United States Women’s National Team Players Association and the United States National Soccer Team Players Association that guarantees equal pay for the women’s and men’s US soccer teams through December 2028.

This collective bargaining agreement (CBA) achieves “true equal pay,” making US Soccer the “first Federation in the works to achieve this goal,” a CBA fact sheet from May 18 states. “While there will be separate CBAs for each team, the agreements are identical in working conditions and financial components including appearance fees and game bonuses, prize money, commercial revenue share and more.”

Notably, under this CBA, the men’s and women’s teams will pool and share prize money from the FIFA World Cup. Prior to this CBA, for example, qualifying for the World Cup meant $2.5 million went to the men’s team while the women’s team would get $750 thousand, according to an ESPN report. Now, those amounts will be pooled and shared equally between players of both teams (with a small portion also going to US Soccer).

The announcement of this final agreement comes just a few months after the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) — the winners of four Women’s World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals — scored a $24 million settlement in a gender-discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation for unequal pay in relation to their male counterparts.

“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,” US forward Margaret Purce said, according to an Associate Press report. “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.”

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