Update: USWNT CBA announcement expected Wednesday

Jeff Kassouf March 19, 2013 23

The US women could have a new CBA and begin training with their NWSL teams within the next few days. (Copyright Patricia Giobetti | http://www.printroom.com/pro/psgiobetti)

UPDATE: An official announcement of a new collective bargaining agreement is expected on Wednesday morning.

With the National Women’s Soccer League season now less than one month away, the United States women’s national team may have a new collective bargaining agreement with US Soccer by the end of the week, players’ association lawyer John Langel said.

Players’ association lawyer John Langel said that a new agreement could be finalized in the coming days. Preseason is already underway and several NWSL teams said they expect US national team players to begin training this week. But that requires a new deal, Langel said.

“That can’t happen unless we have an agreement,” the Philadelphia-based lawyer said. “All signs are that it will happen.”

US Soccer did not wish to comment on negotiations at this time.

The process to get a new CBA has been ongoing. It’s been a very different one from when the deals were negotiated in the WUSA and WPS eras, Langel said on March 1. Langel has represented the USWNSTPA since 1998.

Some US players have already arrived in their respective team markets.

Of the 23 players originally allocated, 15 are currently scheduled to begin the season with their respective NWSL teams at this time. Heather Mitts (Boston) retired and Amy Rodriguez (Seattle) is pregnant. Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle), Amy LePeilbet (Chicago) and Carli Lloyd (Western New York) are all injured, while Megan Rapinoe (Seattle) and Tobin Heath (Portland) are currently playing in France with Lyon and PSG, respectively.

The Chicago Red Stars don’t expect Shannon Boxx to begin training until mid-April due to “personal reasons.” Boxx would start training with Chicago after the US players return from games in Germany (April 5) and the Netherlands (April 9). The NWSL season begins April 13, with Chicago hosting Seattle the next day.

  • MT

    *LePeilbet

  • Steglitz49

    Why is reaching this agreement so drawn out (apart from the obvious rejoinder that the lawyers need to justify their honoraria)? What could be the sticking point?

    • Greg_G

      There are so many things to take into account: compensation by USSoccer, compensation by teams (bonuses, appearances, promotion, etc – who pays?), travel costs, practice hours, per diems, when players can be released to national teams, allocations, injuries and injury compensation, health care costs, training conditions, liability and insurance issues, and on and on. I’m surprised they might get it done before the season starts. While federation involvement in the league is a benefit in many ways, it also complicates matters quite a bit when money and availability must be worked out between the league and three federations.

      • Steglitz49

        I can see health care costs, liability and insurance, and injury compensation being critical points to get right. They involve large amounts of money, and the conditions must be crystal clear.

        Release of players to NT is simple: apply standard FIFA rules.

        Travel costs and per diems I do not quite understand, neither practice hours. That is, after all, part of their job. They play football for money with away matches as well as home ones. For example, why should they have a per diem?

        • http://twitter.com/BostonRedSoccer Boston Red

          Per diems while on NT duty. What expenses are covered while traveling on NT duty? Do they travel business class or coach?

          You also need to include provisions for allocated players who aren’t selected for NT duty and when they review the allocation list. What about payments for non-allocated players and for players who aren’t in the NWSL?

          All these can be part of a negotiated CBA.

          • Steglitz49

            Travel is easy: coach. Seeing that US Soccer pay the salaries of allocated players the rest re NT work is straight forwards also.

            Tom Sermanni presumably has final say over who is an allocated player.

            By players not in the NWSL, you mean players like Ms Press and Averbuch? Hopefully there are standard FIFA guidelines that can be applied. The simplest would be for the USWNT to reimburse Tyresö for the time they use Christen and Göteborg for the time they use Yael. There ought to be precedents from MLS about this.

          • http://twitter.com/BostonRedSoccer Boston Red

            No, it’s not straightforward. There are lots of little things that players ask for as a way to make sure they are taken care of. Just like maternity leave (or the provided nanny who travels with the team). It has to be negotiated.

            TS’s role doesn’t matter — but it’s more around when are players notified about allocation changes and when do their salaries change if no longer allocated. Basic stuff, but important for the CBA.

            Are there standard FIFA guidelines about paying players for NT time? I don’t think so, especially on the women’s side. This has nothing to do with reimbursing foreign clubs — that’s not a requirement & doesn’t enter into the discussion between the two sides.

        • vert2013

          I doubt it’s travel costs as much as travel accommodations, the USWNT travels in coach, if they’re lucky they get business class, while the men are in 1st class.

          • Don B.

            I understand that it’s all about the money, and that the men’s game brings in more money that the women. But wouldn’t it be nice, just for once, if the benefits matched the output? Being ranked #1 would put the women in first class, and a ranking of 33 would put a team…oh, I don’t know, in luggage?

          • vert2013

            That’s what I’m saying. I get that the men bring in more money but there is no reason for disparity in accommodations.

          • Ashley

            Exactly, at least make the men earn their spot in first class, because right now they should be traveling in luggage.

  • http://twitter.com/kernel_thai Mr Rick

    Some of the complaints I saw were about what the women get as compared to what the men get. There is also the new component with USSoccer providing players for the league. I think the money issue prolly was settle pretty quickly.

    • Terry Lash

      Womens’ team members and coaches should receive exactly the same compensation as the Mens’ players and coaches. To do otherwise is simply sexist and discriminatory. Would it be illegal, too?

      • Steglitz49

        Probably not. I expect you can link it to the income of the teams in proportion to money at the gates or sponsorship deals or something.

        • Terry Lash

          How is US Soccer funded? Is an annual financial report made available? In general the governance of US Soccer is a black box to me. Is there an explanation anywhere about how this organization operates?

          • http://twitter.com/BostonRedSoccer Boston Red

            As a non-profit, USSF does produce an annual report: http://www.ussoccerfoundation.org/about-us/annual-reports-financials

          • Terry Lash

            I am looking for information about the governance and finances about US Soccer, not the Foundation.

          • Terry Lash

            There is more info on the US Soccer web site than I had thought, including by-laws, policy manual, audited financial statements and federal income tax filings, which lists compensation levels of top officials and coaches. So far though, I have not found an explanation for the disparity in salaries between Women’s’ and Men’s head coaches. Also, I have not seen a way to communicate the views of fans to the US Soccer leadership.

    • Steglitz49

      When I logged out last time I slipped and may have accidentally flagged your comment as inappropriate. It was an error. The moderator, please ignore it if it registered

  • http://twitter.com/kernel_thai Mr Rick

    The most interesting thing for me is this is the first time Ive seen a deadline mentioned. It was Oh, btw, this has to be done before they join their teams : )

  • NYRick

    I say equal pay per match (including bonuses) for all men and women’s team members now. It’s laughable and really probably illegal it isn’t that way right now.

    Criteria: USWNT #1 ranked team in the world. USMNT latest FIFA ranking #33. Call it whatever you want, but sorry, that means something.

    As a side note: US women players have become rock-star like in this country. The US men’s team are kind of like the warm-up band that people talk through while waiting for the main act to take the stage. Sad but true.

    For USWNT, it’s almost considered a massive failure to not win the WWC or Olympic gold each cycle. For USMNT, we are presently talking about the accomplishment of getting through the CONCACAF hexagonal (no sure thing by the way as it presently stands for them) just to make it to Brazil. It’s pathetic.

    Equal pay NOW! Are you listening Gulati?

    • Terry Lash

      How is it possible to get a message to Gulati? I doubt he reads these comments on Equalizer.

      • NYRick

        I was being sarcastic. But you know what, if I was head of US soccer in this country, I myself or my assistants would be, and should be reading everything they can online from the soccer paying, speaking and watching audience in the US. Hire a bunch of college kids who want their foot in the door in sports marketing to do the drudge work.

        For the US soccer fed, this site and others like it are a goldmine of info and feedback for them. Doesn’t mean they have to act on everything, but sometimes good points are raised by the fanbase. Some are dumb, but some are sound and maybe offer an idea to implement. If the sport is to be grown organically and properly here, then they should have their finger on the pulse of US soccer. And that includes and means the fans too.