The unions of the United States men’s and women’s national soccer teams have ratified new collective agreements with US Soccer that provide for an equal distribution of World Cup bonuses, the federation and the two unions announced on Wednesday.
Both CBAs will come into effect on June 1 and will last until the end of 2028. The US National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA), which represented male players, had been operating without a CBA since late 2018. The agreement for the US Women’s National Team Players Association (USWNTPA) expired at the end of 2021, although it was extended.
The agreements are a promise kept by the president of the American Football Federation, Cindy Parlow Cone, who had sworn that any new CBA should solve the problem of equal pay when it comes to World Cup bonuses. The CBAs also implemented the much-celebrated financial settlement between the USWNT and the federation, which was announced in February after years of legal wrangling.
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“I’ve been saying this for a long time. I wanted to lead on this. I wanted US Soccer to lead on this,” Cone told ESPN via video call. “But we couldn’t do it alone. We needed both male players and male players [union] and the players [union] meet in the same room to negotiate a contract.
“And I’ll be honest, there were days when I didn’t think we were going to cross the line. But we’re here, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and what’s happening. mean, not just for the game here in the United States, but around the world.”
The deals change the dynamic between the two teams. Before, they competed for USSF attention and resources. Now they are working together to raise the collective boat of the two unions.
“I’m really excited to start this almost new partnership, a clean slate. We’re working together,” said Nashville SC defenseman Walker Zimmerman, who is a member of the USNSTPA leadership team. “We have accomplished so much with this groundbreaking CBA, and we are certainly [going to] clap like crazy, because that’s exactly what this CBA is. Is equal. We will be their biggest fans. I’m sure they will be our biggest fans too.”
As Women’s National Team striker Midge Purce, a member of the union’s ABC committee, added: “I think what this ABC does is it ultimately creates this ‘One Nation.’ A team “. And I think that really brought us together around this ideology that we have been looking for for a very long time.”
The respective syndicates will receive 90% of the FIFA bonuses paid out in the 2022 and 2023 World Cups and 80% of the bonuses in the 2026 and 2027 editions. All funds paid out from these bonus pools will be divided equally between the two teams national. FIFA has announced that the entire bonus pool for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be $400 million, while bonuses for the women’s tournament in Australia in 2023 will be $60 million. In the previous World Cup cycle, the last-placed men’s team won more prizes than the first-placed women’s team.
“There are some tough conversations, but at the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do,” Zimmerman said. “It’s something that [the U.S. women’s team players] merit. It’s something they fought so hard for, and, to be honest, sometimes it feels like we just joined them and were a little behind.
“It’s not easy to look back and think about this whole journey and where it started for them and how we got in. And that’s why it’s even more important for us to feel like we’re involved. It’s never too late to get involved.”
Equality has also been achieved in other areas. Both men’s and women’s teams will have identical performance-based bonuses for all matches and competitions. The women’s team will no longer have guaranteed salaries for some players and will have the same pay-per-play structure that the men’s team has always had.
Both unions will also participate in revenue sharing, including 10% of commercial revenue between $55 million and $75 million and 15% of any commercial revenue over $75 million. Both teams will also receive an equal share of ticket revenue, with teams receiving $5.06 from each ticket sold through the end of 2026 and $5.75 from each ticket over the final two years of the agreement.
For games controlled by the USSF – namely friendlies – players will receive $18,000 for a win, $12,000 for a draw and $8,000 for a loss if the opponent is ranked in the top 25 of the FIFA ranking. For all other opponents, the amounts are $13,000 for a win, $10,000 for a draw, and $8,000 for a loss. For World Cup matches, each player will receive a $10,000 match bonus, plus an additional $14,000 for a win or $10,000 for a tie.
A source with knowledge of the men’s contract told ESPN that the men’s players will receive a $2.5 million bonus tied to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup which will not be shared with the women’s team. This is essentially retroactive pay due to the fact that the men were working under their old collective agreement which had expired for over three years.
Some aspects of the women’s contract are also unique from the men’s contract, including continued injury protection, child custody, and parental leave. But for women, the new CBA marks a big shift away from guaranteed salaries and towards a pay-for-play model, which has long been a staple of the men’s offering.
“The ability to do this largely comes from the strength that the NWSL has gained over the past few years,” Purce said. “We have a pretty strong league here at home where we can depend a bit more on those salaries and leave the national team a bit more risk. And I think that has really helped release that risk.”
In February, a settlement in the women’s team equal pay lawsuit was announced, with the USSF agreeing to pay the players $22 million, with an additional $2 million going into a fund that could be enforced. to the efforts of the players after their playing career. This agreement depended on the conclusion of a new CBA with the women, which would include a solution on the bonuses of the World Cup. Now that this objective has been achieved, the settlement can be finalized.