- U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins World Cup Title For A 4th Time
- All the Records the 2019 U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Broke in This Year’s World Cup
- Most goals in a single Women’s World Cup match
- Highest margin of victory in one soccer match
- Alex Morgan scores the most goals in a single women’s game
- Jill Ellis is the first coach to win two World Cup titles
- Most consecutive World Cup tournament wins
- Most goals in a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament
- Most FIFA Women’s World Cup wins
- U.S. women’s soccer team stirs up debate about celebrating too much
- U.S. women’s soccer team arrives in NYC to celebrate World Cup win
- Julie Ertz Named 2019 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year
- ABOUT COOKIES
- What’s been happening?
- How did the USWNT get here?
- Were the “equal pay” chants directed at U.S. Soccer?
- Are there issues besides money outlined in the USWNT lawsuit?
- What is keeping U.S. Soccer from paying the women’s team equal salaries?
- What is a potential solution?
- What else have the men said about it?
- Has everyone been supportive of the issue?
- Can anyone else step in?
- Does pay inequity spill over to other women’s professional sports?
- Could sponsors and brands step in and help level the playing field?
- What happens next?
- FC Dallas under-15 boys squad beat the U.S. Women’s National Team in a scrimmage
- U.S. women’s soccer players start to cash in on licensing — that’s using your bobblehead
U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins World Cup Title For A 4th Time
The United States’ Megan Rapinoe celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between the U.S. and the Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Décines, outside Lyon, France, on Sunday. The U.S. won 2-0. Francisco Seco/AP hide caption
toggle caption Francisco Seco/AP
The United States’ Megan Rapinoe celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between the U.S. and the Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Décines, outside Lyon, France, on Sunday. The U.S. won 2-0.
The U.S. women’s soccer team is still the world’s best after dominating the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup final and winning 2-0. Throughout the tournament, the U.S. brushed aside criticism, complaints of arrogance and calls for the team to tone down their goal celebrations. All the team did was win. All seven World Cup games, in fact.
In the first half, the U.S. created more chances than the Netherlands. The Americans attacked and attacked, but the Dutch defense and, particularly, the goalkeeping of Sari van Veenendaal, who blocked four shots, kept the U.S. from scoring in an opening half for the first time this tournament.
The streak is broken: #USWNT had scored in the first 12 minutes in all 6 of its previous #FIFAWWC2019 games. But it’s halftime in the final match: still no score. #USA 0 – #NED 0. #USANED pic.twitter.com/w79Dw33xDY
— melissa block (@NPRmelissablock) July 7, 2019
Sunday’s sell-out crowd at Stade de Lyon, near Lyon, France, decked out in red, white and blue — and orange — and cheered and cheered and sweated it out with nervous fans watching around the world. Before the final, neither team had trailed or lost a game in this tournament. Both squads had each permitted only a total of three goals. The Dutch got better as the tournament progressed — keeping their opponents from scoring in each of the knockout games before the final.
The U.S. made one change at halftime, replacing Kelley O’Hara with Ali Krieger. O’Hara knocked heads with Lieke Martens late in the first half. The collisions continued in the second half. Becky Sauerbrunn was knocked to the turf, blood trickling down her face. She returned with black tape wrapped across her forehead.
The breakthrough for the U.S. came in the 61st minute. As forward Alex Morgan streaked in front of the Dutch goal, defender Stefanie van der Gragt tagged Morgan’s shoulder with her right boot. A penalty kick was awarded after video review. Megan Rapinoe coolly slapped the ball into the back of the net. It was her third converted penalty and sixth goal of the tournament. Rapinoe won the Golden Ball (MVP) and Golden Boot (top goal scorer).
The U.S. scoring continued in the 69th minute thanks to midfielder Rose Lavelle. She dribbled down the field and, with a beautiful left-footed strike at the top of the penalty area, zipped the ball low and to the right. 2-0. It was all the scoring the U.S. would need.
The Netherlands’ Anouk Dekker (left) walks past as the United States’ Rose Lavelle (right) celebrates with teammates after scoring her side’s second goal during the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between the U.S. and the Netherlands. Alessandra Tarantino/AP hide caption
toggle caption Alessandra Tarantino/AP
The Netherlands’ Anouk Dekker (left) walks past as the United States’ Rose Lavelle (right) celebrates with teammates after scoring her side’s second goal during the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between the U.S. and the Netherlands.
The United States rolled through the opening round with statement wins over Thailand (13-0), Chile (3-0) and Sweden (2-0). Brushing aside criticism about perceived arrogance and excessive goal celebrations, the U.S. then powered through the heart of European soccer with victories over Spain (2-1), France (2-1) and England (2-1) to make it to the final against the reigning European champions.
It was the fifth time the United States Women’s National Team played a World Cup final (there have been only eight tournaments). The U.S. is the first team to reach three consecutive finals and joins Germany as a repeat champion (2003 and 2007). With Sunday’s win, the U.S. has a record four Women’s World Cup trophies.
On a day that should have been all about the World Cup, the United States had to share the soccer spotlight. “It’s ridiculous,” said Rapinoe, that there are not one but two men’s soccer championships scheduled on the same day: the Copa América and CONCACAF Gold Cup. “That’s a terrible idea to put everything on the same day in every way. This is the World Cup final. This is ‘cancel everything day,’ ” Rapinoe said. Soccer’s international governing organization, FIFA, said having all three tournament finals on the same day will draw attention to the sport.
The U.S. team will return home to adoring crowds and fans and a new fight. In March, the U.S. Women’s National Team sued U.S. Soccer for gender discrimination. In the lawsuit, the team claims that the soccer federation pays members of the women’s team far less than similarly situated members of the men’s team — a men’s team that has had nowhere near the success of the women on the international stage. Both sides agreed to mediation after the tournament. After the final whistle, the crowd in Lyon chanted, “Equal Pay!”
Record audiences have tuned in for this tournament both in the United States and around the world. Will this exciting tournament translate into continued growth of the women’s game? “Your hope is back in the U.S., more kids want to go out and play this great sport,” said U.S. head coach Jill Ellis. “I mean, that’s ultimately the building block you build on. My hope is that more people get on board financially. You know, sponsors, they see the value in it. They see the marketing marketability of it, and then more little kids want to go and kick a ball around.”
Now the U.S. returns home as champions again.
The United States’ Alex Morgan (left) and the Netherlands’ Stefanie van der Gragt challenge for the ball during the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between the U.S. and the Netherlands. Francois Mori/AP hide caption
toggle caption Francois Mori/AP
The United States’ Alex Morgan (left) and the Netherlands’ Stefanie van der Gragt challenge for the ball during the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between the U.S. and the Netherlands.
All the Records the 2019 U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Broke in This Year’s World Cup
The 2019 Women’s World Cup may be over, but celebrating the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s win will stick around for a while.
Now four-time World Cup champions, the USWNT beat the Netherlands 2-0 in Sunday’s final match-up of the 2019 series.
Since the team’s opening match of the tournament against Thailand almost one month ago, a lot of records have been broken on the fields of the host country France. From having the largest margin of victory in a single game to scoring the most goals in the entire series altogether — plus, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe’s iconic memes — there’s no shortage of celebratory news for the U.S. team.
Here are the records broken by the USWNT in the 2019 World Cup.
Most goals in a single Women’s World Cup match
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France group F match between USA and Thailand at Stade Auguste Delaune on June 11, 2019 in Reims, France. Marcio Machado—Getty Images
The U.S. team started the World Cup off with a bang on June 11, defeating Thailand’s team 13-0. The group stage match in Reims, France, had the most goals in a single game in the World Cup, for both men and women. Some people criticized the team for taking such a big lead, but in a tournament in which goal differential matters, the U.S. didn’t lose its stride.
Highest margin of victory in one soccer match
(L-R) Alex Morgan, Samantha Mewis, Alyssa Naeher, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Tobin Heath, Abby Dahlkemper, Kelley Ohara, Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz and Crystal Dunn poses for team photo during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France group F match between USA and Thailand at Stade Auguste Delaune on June 11, 2019 in Reims, France. Marcio Machado—Getty Images
That 13-0 defeat against Thailand was also the highest margin of victory in a single match — in both women’s and men’s World Cup soccer history. The record was previously held by Germany for beating Argentina 11-0 in a similar shutout in 2007. The men’s side is pretty far behind with a record victory margin of only 9-0 — Yugoslavia and Hungary beat Zaire (the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and South Korea, respectively, by the same margin.
Alex Morgan scores the most goals in a single women’s game
Alex Morgan of the USA celebrates her goal during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France group F match between USA and Thailand at Stade Auguste Delaune on June 11, 2019 in Reims, France. Daniela Porcelli—Getty Images
Co-captain Alex Morgan tied for the most individual goals in a single women’s World Cup game in the group stage match-up with Thailand. The forward scored five goals in the match, tying her with a record previously set by Michelle Akers, also a U.S. forward, in 1991.
Jill Ellis is the first coach to win two World Cup titles
Jill Ellis, Head Coach of USA, celebrates following her sides victory in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Final match between The United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 7, 2019 in Lyon, France. Maja Hitij—Getty Images
Jill Ellis, the coach for the USWNT, became the first women’s coach ever to win two World Cup titles in soccer history. This feat has only been achieved by Italy’s men’s coach, Vittorio Pozzo, in 1934 and 1938, CNN reports. In 2015, Ellis was named the FIFA World Coach of the Year.
Most consecutive World Cup tournament wins
USA players celebrate as they lift the trophy during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Final match between The United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 7, 2019 in Lyon, France. Marc Atkins—Getty Images
With two consecutive wins (2015 and 2019), the U.S. is now tied with Germany, who won in 2003 and 2007. Aside from the U.S. and Germany, no other team has won more than one Women’s World Cup title since the tournament began in 1991.
Most goals in a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament
Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates after scoring her team’s first goal during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Final match between The United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 7, 2019 in Lyon, France. Richard Heathcote—Getty Images
With 26 goals, the USWNT now has the record for making the most goals in a Women’s World Cup tournament, according to ESPN.
Most FIFA Women’s World Cup wins
USA’s Megan Rapinoe (left) and Rose Lavelle celebrate with the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy after the final whistle USA v. Netherlands in Lyon, France, on July 7, 2019. John Walton—EMPICS/PA Images/Getty Image
The USWNT’s victory breaks its own record for the most wins in the tournament’s history. The U.S. had already won three World Cup finals in 1991, 1999 and 2015. Now, with a fourth, Germany remains behind with two. Norway and Japan’s women’s teams also won the tournaments in 1995 and 2011, respectively.
Correction, July 8
The original version of this story included a photo caption that misstated who was pictured on the second from the right in a USWNT group picture. It is Rose Lavelle, not Morgan Brian.
Write to Rachel E. Greenspan at [email protected]
LYON, France — The United States arrived at the World Cup brimming with confidence and embracing a championship-or-bust mentality.
They left, after a thoroughly dominating tournament, with not just their fourth World Cup overall, and second consecutive, but the mantle as the greatest women’s soccer team of all time.
The Americans outlasted the Netherlands 2-0 in Sunday’s World Cup final. They broke the game open on a Megan Rapinoe penalty kick in the 61st minute before Rose Lavelle added a brilliant goal in the 69th. It was a final that was tough, hard-fought, even bloody at times. But while the score was close for much of the game, the U.S. controlled most of the action and most of the quality scoring opportunities.
It was indicative of a World Cup where the Americans were almost never threatened.
They never trailed. They outscored their seven opponents 26-3. They never needed a second of extra time. They led an astounding 442 out of 630 minutes (70.2 percent of the time, a number that may defy belief from future soccer historians).
Essentially, they did everything they promised they would and believed they could when they arrived here and declared that due to their depth of talent they had the first and second best teams in the world.
The Dutch were a game opponent, physical and determined, the reigning European champions. Yet the talent difference on the field was marked. They became just another team for the U.S. to steamroll in a tournament that saw the Americans defeat the teams ranked third, fourth, eighth, ninth and 13th in the world.
The Americans have fielded some all-time great squads, but none can match this level, let alone the sheer depth of ability. In a sport that grows by leaps and bounds every World Cup cycle, they completely overwhelmed this tournament, only mildly pressed by France late in a quarterfinal and England in the semis. Even then, they were at risk of an even scoreboard, not in need of a comeback.
View photos The United States women’s national team celebrates after winning the World Cup on Sunday. (Associated Press)More
This was a complete show of strength by the United States, a sign of how the country has so many superior athletes playing youth soccer that coach Jill Ellis has an embarrassment of riches to pick from.
Carli Lloyd, 36, was the hero from 2015. She was a late game sub on this team, scoring three times anyway. Mallory Pugh, 21, may prove to be Alex Morgan’s successor as the team’s goal-scoring threat up front. She couldn’t get on the field during the knockout stages.
They lost arguably their best player, forward Megan Rapinoe, for the semifinals due to a strained hamstring, and her replacement, Christen Press, who would start on any other team in the world, needed just 10 minutes to score.
Their veterans such as Rapinoe and Morgan each delivered six goals and Julie Ertz was everywhere. Their newcomers such as Sam Mewis, 26, and Lavelle, 24, showed why the team’s future is bright.
Headed into the tournament there was but one question – goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who is excellent but inexperienced at that level. She brushed that away with a brilliant penalty kick save against England and kept a clean sheet in the final.
About the only concern that ever emerged during play was outside noise wondering if the Americans were too confident. They always prepared for, spoke highly of and respected their opponents, but it was clear that the U.S. believed if they played their game they would win.
They were right.
View photos The second goal from Rose Lavelle (R) sealed the USWNT’s victory and status as greatest women’s soccer team of all time. (Getty)More Story continues
“It’s important that our team has confidence,” Ellis said early in the tournament. “I don’t think in any way this is an arrogant team. I think this team knows they have to earn everything, that we’ve got tough opponents like we played the other night still ahead of us and we have to earn every right to advance in this tournament.”
It wasn’t long before the criticism turned to silly things such as celebrating too many goals with too much flair. When that’s what you are getting hit with as a tournament carries on, you’ve got a juggernaut on your hands.
As long as their focus never wavered, neither would the results.
Declaring this the greatest team in history isn’t an affront to the World Cup champions of 1991 and 1999. It is, instead, their legacy. They spawned not just a generation of girls who flocked to the sport, but the infrastructure of youth leagues and U.S. Soccer development that could handle them, nurture them and turn them into a ferocious group.
The 2015 World Cup champions were very good, but they weren’t this good, they didn’t control the tournament this easily.
As much as there is endless discussion of the soccer world, which is just now caring about the women’s game, catching up to the Americans, it never really panned out. These other countries, especially the seven European teams that joined the U.S. in the quarterfinals, are all better than ever.
Yet the Americans are too – the gap actually widening for the time being.
It wasn’t arrogance that powered their belief in themselves. It wasn’t overconfidence.
It was domination, complete and utter American domination.
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U.S. women’s soccer team stirs up debate about celebrating too much
United States’ Megan Rapinoe, left, and Mallory Pugh celebrate their side’s 11th goal during the Women’s World Cup match against Thailand on June 11 in Paris. The celebrations caused a discussion about sportsmanship. (Alessandra Tarantino/AP) June 19, 2019
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is going according to plan. The favorites, including the United States, are moving through their groups to the knockout rounds.
The only controversy in the tournament is whether the U.S. women are celebrating too much.
The United States played Thailand in its opening game last week. It wasn’t much of a game. The U.S. team jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime, and then the Thai team just crumbled.
The U.S. women kept scoring and celebrating. Ten more goals in the second half led to 10 more big celebrations. Megan Rapinoe even twirled around and slid across the field after she scored the ninth goal of the game.
Some people thought all the celebrating in such a lopsided game was too much. Current and former Canadian players called the celebrations “disgusting.” Another said she “would have hoped could have won with humility and grace, but celebrating goals eight, nine and 10, the way they were doing, was really unnecessary.”
Rapinoe slides on the field after scoring her team’s ninth goal of the match. (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)
Others defended the American women. Abby Wambach, the all-time goal scorer in international play for men or women, said, “Imagine it being you out there. This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.”
Then she added, “Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?”
I’m not sure I agree with Wambach’s assertion that no one would. I think that if the University of Alabama beat another college football team 91-0 and celebrated each of the 13 touchdowns like the first, someone would, and should, say something.
Another thing: Do we want women in sports to take their cues about sportsmanship from male athletes? Men’s games have way too much chest-thumping, finger-pointing and bat-flipping for my taste.
Too often in men’s games the supposed celebrations are not honest displays of emotion but ways to show up the other team. It’s bad sportsmanship and a terrible example for kids who watch the games.
The U.S. women have a great team. They could probably split the squad into two teams, and both teams would be among the best in the world.
Their first two games (the United States also beat Chile, 3-0) were not even close. The U.S. team took a combined 65 shots while Thailand and Chile took only three. In other words, the Americans could have played without a goalkeeper and still run away with the games.
Parents and coaches often talk to kids about being a good sport when you lose. But there is also the art of being a good winner. That includes toning down celebrations in runaway games.
Maybe the U.S. women should save the celebrations for the close games and for July 7 when (hopefully) the team will celebrate winning its fourth World Cup.
Read more Score columns:
For women, World Cup soccer is a surprisingly short story
Should kids get trophies just for showing up?
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U.S. women’s soccer team arrives in NYC to celebrate World Cup win
Megan Rapinoe and her fellow soccer champs arrive at the Wagner Hotel in lower Manhattan on Monday. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin
They’ve just won the World Cup, but they’re not going to Disney World — the U.S. Women’s National Team jumped on a plane and headed straight for Manhattan.
Ahead of Wednesday’s ticker-tape parade honoring the champs after their 2-0 win against the Netherlands in the final, co-captains Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan joined defender Crystal Dunn and midfielder Rose Lavelle to speak with reporters outside their lower Manhattan hotel on Monday.
“It’s so nice to be home,” Rapinoe said. “Thank you France for the hospitality, but we are so glad to be back in America.”
Morgan said that the team did not have Wi-Fi during the flight, which only played into them taking in the moment.
“Initially everyone was excited and then a little hungover and then we slept a little bit. Then we got up and started celebrating a little more and sharing memories,” she said. “This starts an amazing three days and we need to just release all that emotional, physical exhaustion that we’ve had over the past 30 days … now we just get to enjoy each other’s company.”
But even though the team is celebrating their success, they are far from finished fighting for equality. They are set to begin mediation on establishing equal pay now that the World Cup is over, though a specific date has not been announced.
“I think the fans said it all. They’re with us wanting more. It was pretty special to have that transcending moment outside of sport, outside of soccer,” Rapinoe said of fans chanting “equal pay” in the stands after Team USA won the cup. “It’s so much bigger than just what’s happening on the field. … We understand what kind of stage we’re on. We’re very aware of the attention that we have, the platform that we have, and we are extremely aware of the power of winning.”
Tickets to the City Hall ceremony after the 9:30 a.m. Canyon of Heroes parade, where the champs will get their keys to the city, went on sale Monday at 2 p.m. and were sold out within minutes, outraging some fans on social media.
“Why were tickets immediately unavailable to fans as soon as the ‘ticket registration now open’ button went live? Were all tickets given away before going live to the public? Please explain and release more tickets so fans can attend this exciting event,” wrote Twitter user Alexa Hardy.
In an email to amNewYork, deputy press secretary Jane Meyer responded, “New York City is so excited to celebrate this amazing team and there are many ways to partake in the festivities.”
Julie Ertz Named 2019 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year
“Julie was such a critical part of our success this summer,” said former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis. “It’s wonderful that she’s being recognized in this way. She’s always a consummate professional regardless of the environment. Whether it’s in training, National Team games or in the NWSL, she always brings a level of professionalism, effort and talent.”
Ertz also had a banner club season, helping the Chicago Red Stars to second place in the league standings, a victory in the playoff semifinal and their first berth to the NWSL title game. She played every minute of her 14 regular season starts for the Red Stars and every minute of both playoff games when she was once again one of the best players on the field. She was named to the NWSL Best XI as a midfielder, but also played considerable minutes in the center of the defense. She tied with five other U.S. teammates for most regular season minutes played in the NWSL by any 2019 World Cup Team member.
“All of my teammates just had such an amazing year and we all know it takes an entire team to win a World Cup or have a successful club season,” said Ertz. “We are all a sum of the people around us, so I want to especially thank (my husband) Zach and my family, all my coaches for the National Team and the Red Stars, and all my teammates for their never-ending support. It’s emotional to be recognized in this way and it’s a cherry on top of a beautiful 2019. It’s incredible.”
The U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has been awarded since 1985, when midfielder Sharon Remer earned the first Female Athlete of the Year honor. Abby Wambach won it six times, the most of any player.
Votes for U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year awards are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who earned a cap in 2019, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, National Women’s Soccer League head coaches, select media members and former players and administrators. In addition, select college coaches vote for U.S. Soccer’s Female Player of the Year award.
Nov 9, 2019
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The U.S. women’s soccer team has had a well-publicized fight for equal pay since winning this summer’s World Cup. But the battle with U.S. Soccer and FIFA started well before fans broke out in chants of “Equal pay!” at the team’s ticker-tape parade in New York City in July.
What is the story behind the USWNT’s fight for equal pay? How do other sports match up? What has happened since the World Cup? Here is a primer on one of the biggest topics in sports right now — which we will continue to update as more news happens:
What’s been happening?
On August 14, mediation talks broke down between the USSF and the women’s soccer team, with a spokesperson for the players saying they “eagerly look forward to a jury trial.”
The two sides met in New York for several days but could not reach any formal agreement.
On Aug. 19, District Judge R. Gary Klausner set a trial date for the lawsuit brought against U.S. Soccer by members of the women’s national team (more on this below). The trial will begin May 5, 2020, and last four to five days.
Then on Nov. 8, a judge granted the players’ motion to be certified as a class action lawsuit — a win for the players. The players’ spokesperson for the lawsuit, Molly Levinson, called it “a historic step forward in the struggle to achieve equal pay.” Levinson added, in a statement: “We are so pleased the Court has recognized USSF’s ongoing discrimination against women players — rejecting USSF’s tired arguments that women must work twice as hard and accept lesser working conditions to get paid same as men.”
The class designation awards the players injunctive relief for any player who is a team member on the day of final judgment or appeal, as well as back pay and punitive damages for any player on the team at any time between Feb. 4, 2014, and the present.
Things have continued to be contentious between the two sides since the conclusion of the World Cup. In July, U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro released a letter that claimed the federation has paid the female players more than the men in recent years. Cordeiro’s letter details analysis — which he says was conducted by his staff and reviewed by an accounting firm — that shows that U.S. Soccer paid female players $34.1 million in salaries and game bonuses from 2010 to ’18 and paid male players $26.4 million in the same period.
However, there was some murkiness because of the differences in the compensation structures for the men’s and women’s teams. What’s more, salaries in the National Women’s Soccer League were factored in to the calculations. Levinson called the letter “a sad attempt by USSF to quell the overwhelming tide of support the USWNT has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress.”
The U.S. men’s team issued a statement in support of the USWNT, saying, “The members of the United States National Soccer Team Players Association once again stands with the members of the world champion Women’s National Team in their pursuit of fair compensation for their work as professional soccer players. The USMNT players were not impressed with US Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro’s letter made public on Monday. The Federation downplays contributions to the sport when it suits them. This is more of the same.”
How did the USWNT get here?
The equal pay battle didn’t begin around the World Cup, but it was heightened by the event. The U.S. women have been fighting for equality for some time. In 2016, five high-profile members of the USWNT — Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn — filed a complaint against the United States Soccer Federation (commonly referred to as U.S. Soccer) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC never issued a decision on the case, and in the meantime, the women signed a new collective bargaining agreement with the USSF. In August last year, Solo filed her own case against U.S. Soccer — with similar complaints — in a personal lawsuit, which remains pending in California.
Things ramped up this year. On March 8 — not coincidentally, International Women’s Day — 28 members of the USWNT filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer accusing it of gender discrimination. The complaint was filed in California district court and argued that U.S. Soccer “has a policy and practice of discriminating” against members of the women’s national team on the basis of gender. The lawsuit contends that the USSF is in violation of two federal laws: the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The U.S. women’s team has been far more successful on the international stage than the men’s team. This World Cup win was the women’s fourth. The men’s best finish came in 1930, when the team placed third. The men didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup, yet compensation does not reflect each team’s performance.
The U.S. women’s current lawsuit contends that if the men’s and women’s teams won each of the 20 non-tournament games they are contractually required to play, women’s team players would each earn a maximum of $99,000 ($4,950 per game), and men’s team players would earn $263,320 ($13,166 per game). The suit also states that from 2013 to 2016, women players earned $15,000 for making the national team, and the men earned $55,000 in 2014 and $68,750 in 2018. (In response to this, U.S. Soccer told ESPN that these figures were pulled from the old collective bargaining agreement, and a new one was signed in 2017.)
Were the “equal pay” chants directed at U.S. Soccer?
They were most likely directed at both U.S. Soccer and FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, which puts on the World Cup.
FIFA awarded $30 million in prize money for this year’s women’s tournament. The 2018 men’s tournament had $400 million in prize money. Although FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said he wants to double the prize money for the women’s tournament by 2023, the gap between the genders could grow, with FIFA expected to award $440 million for the men’s tournament in 2022.
FIFA’s position on prize money is that it’s tied to revenue. Simply, the men’s tournament brings in much more than the women’s. Some projections of what the tournaments earn in revenue have been made public, but not all of the numbers are available. (The New York Times reported projections of $6.1 billion for the 2018 men’s tournament, and FIFA projected the Women’s World Cup would bring in $131 million over the four-year cycle.) This raises the question of whether it’s fair to cut prize money proportionately. FIFA has the funds to close the gap; the organization’s cash reserves hit a record $2.74 billion in 2018.
Many women’s players have also expressed frustrations about institutional favoritism toward men. One example they point to: FIFA’s decision to schedule two men’s tournament finals (the Copa America men’s final and the CONCACAF Gold Cup men’s final) on the day of the Women’s World Cup final. Said Megan Rapinoe on the eve of the title game, “If you really care, are you letting the gap grow? Are you scheduling three finals on the same day? No, you’re not. Are you letting federations have their teams play two games in the four years between each tournament? No, you’re not. That’s what I mean about the level of care. You need attention and detail and the best minds that we have in the women’s game helping it grow every single day.”
Are there issues besides money outlined in the USWNT lawsuit?
Yes. The USWNT has also fought for better conditions. The women had lesser accommodations while traveling and routinely had to play on artificial turf instead of natural grass, which is kinder to the body.
According to the complaint, between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2017, the USWNT played 62 domestic matches, 13 (21%) of which were played on artificial surfaces. During that same period, the USMNT played 49 domestic matches, only one (2%) of which was played on an artificial surface. (Since the lawsuit was filed, U.S. Soccer has scheduled all of the women’s games on natural grass.)
As for travel, the lawsuit states that in 2017, the men’s team flew on chartered flights on at least 17 occasions, and the women did not have a chartered flight that year. In response, U.S. Soccer told ESPN that 2017 was the final year of qualifying for the men’s team prior to the 2018 World Cup, and therefore most of the flights were chartered for a competitive advantage. The organization said it has consistently offered the same travel accommodations for the men’s and women’s teams.
What is keeping U.S. Soccer from paying the women’s team equal salaries?
It’s a bit complicated. The men and women both have negotiated separate collective bargaining agreements with the USSF. (The women’s current contract runs through 2021.) The biggest difference is pay structure. The men receive much higher bonuses when they play for the national team. The women receive guaranteed salaries (about $100,000 a year), but their bonuses are much smaller. The women haven’t necessarily complained about their pay structure — after all, this is what they negotiated — but they want their fair share of the money being doled out. The lawsuit contends that “the USSF has never offered female WNT players pay at least equal to the pay afforded to male MNT players.”
The USSF’s formal response to the lawsuit claimed that any differences in pay are “based on differences in the aggregate revenue generated by the different teams and/or any other factor other than sex.”
But let’s talk about that money. Where does it come from? The biggest revenue streams are TV deals, sponsorship deals and ticket sales. It’s tricky to decipher how much the men are bringing in with TV deals and sponsorship deals versus the women because those deals are often sold in bundles. When it comes to ticket sales, the women have actually earned more over the past three years, according to audited financial statements obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
From 2016 to 2018, women’s games generated approximately $50.8 million in revenue, compared to $49.9 million for men’s games. Here’s the sneaky caveat: The men average higher attendance, but the women have played more games, which leads to more revenue. The women have also done more promotional and media tours than the men in that span.
What is a potential solution?
There is one outlined in the lawsuit: The WNTPA proposed a revenue-sharing model to “test the USSF’s ‘market realities’ theory.” In that model, player compensation would be directly linked to how much revenue each team generates.
What else have the men said about it?
The U.S. men’s team issued a statement in support of the women’s lawsuit and the revenue-sharing model.
It read: “The United States National Soccer Team Players Association fully supports the efforts of the US Women’s National Team Players to achieve equal pay. Specifically, we are committed to the concept of a revenue-sharing model to address the US Soccer Federation’s ‘market realities’ and find a way towards fair compensation.”
Has everyone been supportive of the issue?
In short, no. In July, 2014 World Cup team member Jermaine Jones ignited controversy when he said in a video interview posted on the website TooFab, “The girls, I appreciate everything they’re doing, they’re doing an amazing job, but of course, as men, we know it’s tougher to win a World Cup than the girls.” He later went on to say, “I think they have to be careful too because you have players Alex Morgan, they are making more than some of the guys, but then they scream out and say, ‘We need more money.’ … It can backfire real quick.”
In an interview with The Guardian published on Tuesday, Aug. 13, Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer said he does not believe in equal pay.
“I think, for me, it’s ridiculous,” he said. “It’s the same like tennis. If there are watching, for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that, and 100 million for a women’s final, that’s a difference. So it’s not the same. And of course they have to be paid what they deserve to and not less, just what they really deserve. If it’s just as popular as the men, they will get it because the income and the advertising will go into that. But it’s not like that, so why do they have to earn the same? I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t understand that.”
(De Boer later said he regretted those remarks, especially the use of the word “ridiculous.”)
Can anyone else step in?
Some politicians are trying. U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., wrote a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee in July calling for a hearing “on the significant issue of pay disparity between men’s and women’s sports in the United States.”
The letter stated: “As you know, this Committee has previously held hearings on issues within its jurisdiction over sports matters, including hearings on combating sexual abuse in Olympic sports and preventing opioid abuse among athletes in the previous Congress.
“Following the USWNT’s latest World Cup victory, a hearing would afford a timely opportunity for the Committee to recognize the importance of protecting and empowering athletes — while also examining the troubling pay disparities that have been highlighted in recent weeks.”
Does pay inequity spill over to other women’s professional sports?
Yes. Hockey is perhaps the best recent example. Ahead of the 2017 IIHF World Championships, the U.S. women’s national team threatened to boycott as a protest against USA Hockey, citing stalled negotiations for “fair wages and equitable support” from its governing body.
The players and USA Hockey ended up agreeing to a landmark, four-year agreement just before the tournament, ending the holdout (and the chance that USA Hockey would put out a replacement squad for the tournament). The team’s annual compensation improved to roughly $70,000 per player, plus performance bonuses that could push their incomes over six figures if they win the Olympics or world championships. USA Hockey also agreed to other player asks, such as establishing a committee to look into how the federation could improve its marketing, scheduling, public relations efforts and promotion of the women’s game, plus fundraising and other efforts for girls’ developmental teams.
While men can earn millions of dollars in the NBA, NHL or soccer leagues, few will be surprised to hear that the same opportunities don’t exist in women’s professional sports. Differences in sponsorships, ticket sales and TV rights, among other things, contribute to big disparities in pay between men’s and women’s pro leagues.
Although the NWSL — the longest-running professional women’s soccer league in North America — increased its roster size and salary cap for this upcoming season (a positive sign), its salaries pale in comparison to figures we see in men’s soccer. The 2019 NWSL salary cap is $421,500, with the minimum player salary $16,538 and the maximum player salary $46,200. The MLS Players Association lists salaries on its website: The lowest-paid players for 2019 make $56,250, and the highest-paid player is Zlatan Ibrahimovic at $7.2 million.
Frustration over salaries and quality of life concerns were principal reasons WNBA players opted out of their collective bargaining agreement last year. (That means the current agreement will end after the 2019 season, and both sides will have to negotiate a new one.) The current rookie minimum is $41,965, and the veteran maximum is $117,500 — a fraction of their NBA counterparts’ salaries. Players say they aren’t expecting to make NBA salaries, but they don’t think they’re being paid what they’re worth. Some players supplement their income by playing abroad in the offseason, though that carries inherent risks. Look no further than the costly injuries to Indiana Fever guard Victoria Vivians (torn ACL while playing in Israel) and reigning WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart (ruptured Achilles while playing with her Russian club), who are both out for this WNBA season.
The women’s professional hockey landscape is in even more upheaval. After the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) made the stunning decision to shutter after the 2018-19 season — citing an “unsustainable business model” — more than 200 women’s hockey players announced they would not play in any league until there was a more viable option that included better benefits and more money. That led to a formation of a union, the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, which features most of the top players in women’s hockey, including Team USA’s Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne and Brianna Decker.
The PWHPA will go on a barnstorming tour this fall — with confirmed dates already in Toronto, Chicago and New Hampshire — to drum up fan interest and maintain their visibility. But players who participate in the tour, which will include exhibitions and meet-and-greets, will not be compensated.
There’s still an existing league, the NWHL. Even though the NWHL promised a 50-50 cut from league sponsorship and media deals, salaries for those intending to play in 2019-20 range from about $5,000 to $12,000.
And the U.S. women’s soccer team isn’t the only team in the sport fighting against its own federation. Just two months after appearing in its first World Cup, the Jamaican women’s team — the Reggae Girlz — has announced it will not train or compete until its players are paid. The Reggae Girlz claim the federation owes them money. Forward Khadija Shaw told the BBC: “Of course 100 percent we always want to represent our country. It’s not just about the money, it’s a stand that needs to be done. Hopefully this can be resolved as soon as possible and we can put this behind us and represent our country … We are in a position where we are literally fighting just to get paid by legal agreements. about change, change in the way women football is viewed, especially in Jamaica.”
The Reggae Girlz have been fighting for equality ever since 2010, when the Jamaican Football Federation cut their funding. They were unable to play for a period of time, and lost their FIFA ranking.
In November, the Football Federation Australia and the players’ association announced a landmark deal that would see Australia’s women’s senior international team earn as much has their male counterparts, according to the Daily Telegraph. The women’s and men’s teams will reportedly share 40% of commercial revenue and prize money evenly; historically, the men’s team was allocated a greater share of the commercial revenue and was paid more to play.
Could sponsors and brands step in and help level the playing field?
Adidas announced in March that it would be paying its athletes on the winning World Cup team the same performance bonus payments that would be owed to their male counterparts. (Adidas does not disclose the amount of its bonuses.)
In April, LUNA Bar made a $718,750 donation to the USWNT Players Association, with the stipulation that the money be used to pay the 23 members of the 2019 World Cup team. The figure was calculated to make up the $31,250 per player difference in bonuses given to men and women for making the World Cup roster.
Secret Deodorant (through parent company Procter & Gamble) did something similar after the World Cup, announcing (via a full-page ad in The New York Times) that it would donate $529,000 — or $23,000 for each of the 23 players to help close the pay gap.
There are plenty of other examples. However, experts in the industry say that while the boost and exposure are nice, brand involvement historically hasn’t leveled the playing field.
Jayna Hefford, who served as commissioner of the CWHL last season before it folded, said that while it shows a “sound corporate responsibility that might resonate with consumers,” she learned to understand that “company mandates are to make money and run a business,” so it has to be a partnership that makes sense. While Hefford stressed that women’s hockey players aren’t expecting NHL salaries — echoing the WNBA players — it is difficult to count on sponsors to keep the league afloat.
Val Ackerman, the first president of the WNBA, said that traditionally, sponsors don’t dictate how that money is spent. For instance, a sponsor isn’t saying, “Here’s $500,000, but it must be allocated to player salaries.” Rather, the money goes into a general revenue pot, and the owner or commissioner can view at as an additional revenue stream from which to draw. Running a league costs tens of millions of dollars — more than brands are usually willing to spend. What’s more, it’s not sponsorships that bring in the big bucks, but rather TV deals that have raised the profiles of leagues such as the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB.
What happens next?
We’ll wait and see. No new mediation is currently scheduled, but a letter to U.S. Soccer officials dated Aug. 12 and signed by the 28 players involved in the suit says in part:
“While we are prepared to take our equal pay fight through a trial if necessary, we believe that both sides would benefit from an equal pay and equal working conditions settlement now.”
It’s also to be determined if politicians in Washington step up with hearings and what might come from that. What is clear: This conversation isn’t going away.
“All players, I’m saying every player at this World Cup, put on the most incredible show that you could ever ask for,” Rapinoe said. “We can’t do anything more to impress, to be better ambassadors, to take on more, to play better, to do anything. It’s time to move that conversation forward to the next step.”
The reason Cordeiro didn’t expose those numbers in his fact sheet is likely because they are vastly disparate. You could start at the top and just compare the earnings of the teams’ coaches for the 2017–18 season. The World Cup–winning Jill Ellis’s most recently reported compensation was $318,533, while the former U.S. men’s-national-team coach Bruce Arena made $1.4 million during that period (the same year, the men’s team lost to Trinidad and Tobago, keeping it out of the 2018 World Cup).
Read more: The U.S. women’s soccer team’s biggest battle is yet to be won
Many point to the high energy surrounding the Women’s World Cup years and then to the low attendance numbers of the league games in between to try to show that women’s soccer can’t maintain a profitable, excited audience. But that’s not how sports works. If you build it, they will come. And after you build it, you have to market it. U.S. women’s soccer, in non–World Cup years, is not being sold nearly as effectively as men’s soccer has been.
According to the lawsuit filed in March, the lack of promotion for the women’s games is having a direct effect on the USWNT’s profitability. The lawsuit notes that the federation “has not announced WNT games with sufficient notice to allow for maximum attendance; and has not used all available means to promote WNT games in a manner at least equal to MNT games.” The federation also charges less for tickets to women’s games, a direct financial hit to the team’s profitability. In an interview with The New York Times Magazine last month, Megan Rapinoe explained her reasoning for the difference:
Do you have an idea other than sexism as to why people aren’t investing in women’s sports in a huge way right now? Probably 75 percent of the people going to Major League Soccer games—are they going because they’re hard-core soccer fans or because it’s a cool experience? The MLS marketing is great, the branding is great, and it’s a fun atmosphere to be a part of. I feel like women could have the exact same thing, but for some reason people aren’t investing in it.
The example Rapinoe cites—Major League Soccer—proves just how crucial investment is to growing a sport. Back in 2001, MLS’s sixth season, the league was considered a tiny fish in the professional-sports circuit. Average attendance numbers at games were falling consistently; the league had lost $250 million since its first match; two teams had folded; and the league itself reportedly almost shuttered, too.
The turnaround for MLS began in 2002, when team owners got together with the league’s commissioner, Don Garber, to form a separate company: Soccer United Marketing. SUM purchased broadcasting rights for that year’s men’s World Cup for $70 million, in an attempt to bolster soccer fandom in the United States. By 2004, SUM had formed an exclusive partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation. Garber, who is also SUM’s CEO, explained in a 2018 interview that the tight relationship between MLS, SUM, and the federation exists thanks to a commitment to “providing an opportunity for American players to play professionally, to building stadiums and training infrastructure, to building a fan culture, and growing the sport overall.” SUM is the same firm cited in the U.S. women’s national team’s lawsuit, which alleges that Kathy Carter, the former president of SUM, “acknowledged that the WNT has been under-marketed ‘taken … for granted.’”
FC Dallas under-15 boys squad beat the U.S. Women’s National Team in a scrimmage
In preparation for two upcoming friendlies against Russia, the U.S. women’s national team played the FC Dallas U-15 boys academy team on Sunday and fell 5-2, according to FC Dallas’ official website.
This friendly came as the U.S. looked to tune up before taking on Russia on Thursday night in a friendly.
Of course, this match against the academy team was very informal and should not be a major cause for alarm. The U.S. surely wasn’t going all out, with the main goal being to get some minutes on the pitch, build chemistry when it comes to moving the ball around, improve defensive shape and get ready for Russia.
Former BUSA player Tanner Tessman (currently at FC Dallas) got to play against the USWNT in preparation for their game versus Russia. pic.twitter.com/kOH0Y4zPPR
— Birmingham United (@Bham_United) April 3, 2017
The game will, however, serve as a great anecdote for the kids on the FC Dallas squad to tell their grandchildren about one day. It also speaks highly of the level of academy development MLS teams are doing these days.
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As the Women’s US Soccer team demands to be paid as much as the more-profitable men’s team and continues to drive controversy with Megan Rapinoe’s recent actions regarding the US Flag and Anthem, it has been revealed that the team lost to an under-15 boys team.
The team lost against FC Dallas’ U-15 boys academy team in 2017, scoring only two points against the five points earned by the teenagers.
Former BUSA player Tanner Tessman (currently at FC Dallas) got to play against the USWNT in preparation for their game versus Russia. pic.twitter.com/kOH0Y4zPPR
— Birmingham United (@Bham_United) April 3, 2017
Flash-forward to 2019, when Democratic Senator from New York Chuck Schumer claimed that the female players of Team USA Soccer earned less than their male counterparts.
“The women make just as much of a sacrifice, put in just as much mental and physical energy, absorb just as much risk of injury as the men who play for our national team,” Schumer said. “Yet, when you break it down, a women’s national soccer team player earns a base salary of $3,600 per game while a men’s player earns $5,000.”
However, as Federalist author John Glynn pointed out, the Women’s World Cup only generated $131 million in revenue this year, while the Men’s World Cup generated $6 billion. To put that into perspective, it would be as if every known person in the world chipped in 79 cents to see the Men’s World Cup.
“One of the major factors that separate men’s sports and women’s is a not so little thing called revenue,” Glynn wrote. “To put it bluntly, female soccer players, just like female basketball players and female hockey players, are paid less because their respective sports make less. The total prize money for the Women’s World Cup in France this July was $30 million; the total prize money for the men’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be $440 million.”
However, math seems to be an art lost on many politicians when it comes to women’s soccer.
“As the U.S. Women’s National Team takes the field against Thailand today, the players are also fighting to be paid equally,” Democratic Senator From New York Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted last month. “Let’s not forget the fight off the field. It’s time we pay our USWNT equally.“
Much like men’s soccer, it seems, virtue-signalling on such matters is a profitable endeavour.
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U.S. women’s soccer players start to cash in on licensing — that’s using your bobblehead
In 1999, when the United States won the Women’s World Cup, the iconic pose was that of Brandi Chastain ripping off her jersey, celebrating in her sports bra. The photographs live forever.
In 2019, another U.S. victory featured two iconic poses: Megan Rapinoe spreading her arms outward, almost wider than humanly possible, after scoring against France; and Alex Morgan, delicately lifting her closed hand to her mouth, her pinky extended as if sipping a cup of tea, after scoring against England.
Those photos live on too, but now so does the memorabilia. Those images are reproduced and sold on bobblehead dolls, mugs and a variety of T-shirts, including ones with Morgan’s name and the words “Tea Time” and ones with Rapinoe’s pose and the words “American Badass.”
The NFL players’ union made all this possible.
Equal pay is not the only empowerment vehicle for the U.S. women’s national team. When the USWNT won the Cup four years ago, the wave of commemorative memorabilia never followed, and the players subsequently asserted their marketing rights. The players’ collective licensing revenue was $0 in 2015, but it is expected to top $1 million in 2019.
“The cool thing is that profits are going toward players,” forward Christen Press said, “as opposed to most memorabilia that you can buy through the national team. That doesn’t trickle down to the players.”
When the players negotiated their current collective bargaining agreement, they asked U.S. Soccer for control of the rights to their names and likenesses. The players had won the Cup, after all, but where were the player T-shirts?
The Victory Tour for team USA will kick off at the Rose Bowl against Ireland. Advertisement
Becca Roux, executive director of the USWNT players’ association, said she understood that television rights and ticket sales drove the revenue at U.S. Soccer. The federation, she said, saw little value in licensing rights.
“Licensing is a pretty laborious thing to make money out of,” Roux said. “But it’s also a really great marketing tool.
“I always knew when the next Disney movie was coming out because of the Happy Meal.”
In 2017, as the USWNT signed its new contract and secured its licensing rights, the National Football League Players Assn. launched a sports marketing venture called Rep Worldwide. The pitch, in a nutshell: We already know how to market athletes, so let us market yours.
“Think of how many baseball bobbleheads are out there in the world. That hadn’t really been done for the women’s national team,” said Steven Scebelo, vice president of licensing and business development at NFL Players Inc., the union’s marketing arm.
The USWNT players’ union had no sales data and no relationships with vendors, and Roux was the lone full-time employee. The NFL players’ union had 125 employees, including 30 alone at Players Inc.
The soccer players were impressed by the pitch, but also by the commitment to work with players who did not want to simply hand over their rights and wait for a licensing check. The WNBA players’ union also signed with Rep Worldwide, and Scebelo said the USWNT and WNBA unions each received an ownership stake in the company.
Press said Meghan Klingenberg, a former USWNT defender and current player for the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League, reviews every proposed licensing contract – not only to approve the terms of the deal, but to see whether the players should want to affiliate with the company.
“We have a very special group of players since 2015 that worked really hard to reestablish our players’ association and run it like a business,” Press said. “While we were empowering ourselves and believing in our own value, the kickback that we got was this amazing learning opportunity.”
Alex Morgan’s sipping tea moment from the 2019 Women’s World Cup semifinals is something she can cash in on under the terms of the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s collective bargaining agreement. (foco.com)
Press designed her own T-shirts through one of the licensees. Press, Klingenberg, Rapinoe and teammate Tobin Heath in June launched a clothing brand called re-inc independent of the USWNT and Rep Worldwide.
“I’ve learned how to start a small business,” Press said.
The USWNT had 22 licensing deals in place for the World Cup, according to Scebelo, and agreements with five more companies are pending.
“The Monday after they won the Cup, there was one in particular that said, ‘We should have taken this six months ago,’” he said.
Each NFL player received a base payment of $17,662 in licensing royalties last year, according to documents filed by the NFLPA with the U.S. Department of Labor. In a league in which the average salary is close to $3 million and the minimum salary is $495,000, individual licensing royalties among most of the roughly 2,200 players are relatively minimal.
That should not be the case for the USWNT. The players on the national team earn a $100,000 base salary from U.S. Soccer, with incentive bonuses. But of the 23 players on the World Cup roster, Roux said only 18 got that base salary.
Roux said between 25 and 40 players would be eligible to share in the licensing revenue. If shared equally, that would essentially be a bonus of at least $25,000 per player.
“This is a new opportunity to bring in supplemental revenue that hopefully can change the landscape of what it means to be a women’s soccer player,” Press said, “and impact the quality of life that women’s soccer players have.”
The players hope the blizzard of merchandise – from shirts to scarves, trading cards, player figurines and oversized replicas of player heads – can help keep interest in soccer vibrant outside of the World Cup and Olympics. Their robust presence on social media – Morgan alone has 9 million followers on Instagram and 4 million on Twitter – can help persuade companies that the window to sell USWNT merchandise does not close after those major events, Scebelo said.
On Saturday, the USWNT makes its first appearance since winning the World Cup, facing Ireland in an exhibition match at the Rose Bowl.
“I’ve really enjoyed seeing the products that the fans buy and use at the stadium,” Press said. “You feel personally more connected and attached to that stuff than the more generic merchandise.
“We’re more likely to go up to that person and say we really appreciate that.”
US Women’s Team wins record fourth World Cup title
The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team wins their fourth World Cup title in France.
The U.S. defeated the Netherlands on Sunday to win its second consecutive Women’s World Cup title. It’s the team’s fourth overall.
The Americans defeated the Dutch, 2-0, behind goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle. Rapinoe scored on a penalty kick in the 61st minute and Lavelle scored in the 69th minute.
MEGAN RAPINOE SAYS FIFA WORLD CUP PRIZE MONEY ‘NOT FAIR,’ WOMEN NOT AS ‘RESPECTED’ AS MEN
It was a hard-fought battle between the U.S. and the Netherlands. The two squads were tied in the second half as it looked like the Dutch defense had the Americans’ number despite the heavy attack.
A foul was committed on Alex Morgan in the box and after a VAR review and an official review, the U.S. was awarded a penalty kick.
Rapinoe took the kick and finally scored on the Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal.
FEMALE COACHES LEAD US, NETHERLANDS INTO WOMEN’S WORLD CUP FINAL FOR SECOND TIME IN HISTORY
Minutes later, Lavelle turned up the pressure on the Dutch with some nifty footwork and a big boot to score the Americans’ second goal of the match.
The Netherlands played very tight defense in the first half. The Dutch had the odds on their side with the score tied at zero. The Netherlands had won all their World Cup matches after being tied at the half.
But that didn’t appear to be case.
Members of the US team celebrate at the end of the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France, Sunday, July 7, 2019. US won 2:0. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
The Netherlands managed five shots in the entire match – only one of them on goal. The offense was nearly nonexistent in the first half.
Lineth Beerensteyn may have had the best run of the game. She had an opportunity to put one past U.S. goalie Alyssa Naeher who came out of her box to challenge her. Naeher won the challenge and kicked the ball away from Beerensteyn.
The U.S. win marks a very controversial path to the World Cup final.
ALEX MORGAN SAYS ‘TEA’ CELEBRATION CRITICISM AMOUNTS TO DOUBLE STANDARD: ‘I’M A LITTLE TAKEN ABACK’
Going into the tournament, there were questions about coach Jill Ellis’ leadership as well as how Naeher was going to fill the shoes of former keeper Hope Solo.
United States’ Kelley O Hara celebrates winning the Women’s World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France, Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Those questions were drowned out after the first match against Thailand – in which the Americans won 13-0. The U.S. was criticized for over-celebrating during the win. It set the tone of the entire tournament.
Between the criticism of the U.S. celebrating – which was amplified during their match against England – and the noise surrounding Rapinoe’s comments about the White House, the U.S. ultimately broke through and put on a great showing throughout the entire tournament.
The U.S. defeated Thailand, Chile and Sweden on the way to the knockout stage. Then got past Spain, France and England for their match against the Netherlands.
Rapinoe won the Golden Boot – which is given to the top scorer of the tournament. Rapinoe finished with six goals and three assists in the tournament. She and Morgan both had six goals and three assists but Rapinoe got the nod on the fewer minutes played tiebreaker.
She and Michelle Akers are the only Americans to win the Golden Boot.
The win marks the fourth time the U.S. has won the Women’s World Cup. Previously, the U.S. has defeated Norway, China, Japan and now the Netherlands. It’s also their second straight title, having defeated Japan in the 2015 game.