A long-running contract dispute between U.S. Soccer and the members of its women's national team has been settled with the ratification of a new five-year contract between the parties.
The players met Tuesday night in Dallas to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement, which runs through 2021. According to The New York Times, the deal includes "sizable" increases in base pay in addition to bigger bonuses and the potential to cash in on merchandising and marketing rights. Players can now make $200,000-$300,000 annually with the potential for more in a World Cup year, according to the Times.
"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," U.S. Soccer said in a release. "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 women's national team had been working without a contract since the previous CBA expired Dec. 31, but the dispute dates back long before that. The players filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in March 2016 complaining of the disparity between their pay and that of the men's national team — which has been far less successful on the international stage.
Pay wasn't the only issue. The women's team has been vocal about its concerns with working conditions, most notably the repeated scheduling of matches on artificial surfaces. Those venues are seen as harder on players' bodies and the U.S. men rarely play domestic games on anything but natural grass pitches.