Megan Klingenberg, Christen Press, and Becky Sauerbrunn have been elected to serve as player representatives for the USWNT Players Association. The announcement was part of a broad restructuring of the organization’s leadership team amid negotiations with U.S. Soccer for a new collective bargaining agreement.
“We are more unified and stronger than ever before,” Klingenberg said in a release put out by the organization Thursday evening. “This new leadership structure makes the USWNTPA, a best-in class players association, reflecting the mission and goals of the USWNTPA, including empowering and protecting its members while inspiring the next generation of players.”
The player representatives will serve for one year and oversee the daily operations of the USWNTPA. The USWNTPA also announced Becca Roux as the interim executive director. The position had been vacant since Rich Nichols departed late last year. Additionally, Press and Sauerbrunn will be joined on the CBA negotiating committee by Sam Mewis, Alex Morgan, Kelley O’Hara, and Megan Rapinoe.
“It’s an exciting time in women’s soccer,” Press said. “We look forward to our discussions with the federation regarding a new CBA and the future of the women’s national team. We believe there is a way for both parties to win, and in doing so, create a sense of new partnership going forward.
“We are committed to a thoughtful approach and are hopeful that USSF will work with us to create a fair future for the USWNT that emphasizes respect, equitable compensation, and partnership.”
The most recent agreement with U.S. Soccer expired when the new year began and the sides are currently operating under the status quo. Neither side can withdraw from the agreement or implement a work stoppage without first giving 60 days’ notice. To this point neither side has given said notice.
Earlier Thursday, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gultai reiterated his stance that the tone of discussions had improved since Nichols’s departure and he remains hopeful of getting deal done before the opening of NWSL season in mid April.
“They’ve had a change in leadership and there has been a very different tone to the discussions,” Gulati said during the NWSL press conference to announce its new joint venture with A+E Networks. “I’m confident a CBA will be done in plenty of time for the season.”