Klingenberg, Press, Sauerbrunn elected USWNTPA reps

The Equalizer Staff February 3, 2017 21
USWNT co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn has been elected as a player representative and will be part of the CBA negotiating team going forward. (Getty Images)

USWNT co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn has been elected as a player representative and will be part of the CBA negotiating team going forward. (Getty Images)

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.

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“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.”

  • The Oracle

    Let me guess… so they tried to play hard ball, us soccer said b**** please, so they went… we are sorry we will change our lawyer and drop Carli. Am I somewhere in the ball park?

    • mockmook

      Also, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot about “equal pay” in the latest rhetoric.

      Can’t wait for the Solo interview on 60 Minutes — she’ll set everyone straight…

      • Cc W

        USS dropping Solo and her contract certainly had to readjust the players’ view of what they could fight for. It seems to me they have decided to get some security going forward rather than fight the big fight. I think Steg has a point, losing in Brasil hurt their cause. I’m not saying I blame them – but I anticipate they’ll get a raise of up to 100k, maybe a bit more if they are lucky – per player, get some more perks on travel and the promise to try and let them play on grass as much as possible.

        I personally like Solo – more as a player than as a person, she’s damaged – but she no longer has her platform for the equal pay and her former teammates seem to be okay with her not being around.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you, though I doubt that they will get a raise. They may avoid a drop in salary. No new perks. No new grass.

          Hope has been great for WoSo.

          • SpiritFan80

            I agree they lost some leverage with the Rio loss. They tried to use the “Equal Pay” tagline for publicity which seemed to work for some time and the pressure was on USSF. Reporters checked into the actual differences between the MNT and WNT CBAs and questioned them about what they viewed as Equal Pay. They didn’t have a good answer. They relied too heavily on a hashtag that they thought would garner them public support and that may have worked, had they won a medal in Rio. Think they realized the hard line they were taking wasn’t getting them anywhere and they needed to have people who were willing to negotiate “smartly” while still trying to get some better things for the team. They can do this, the key word is negotiate, though.

          • mockmook

            Reporters checked into the actual differences between the MNT and WNT CBAs and questioned them about what they viewed as Equal Pay.

            Really? Where? When?

          • SpiritFan80

            there was an article written last spring, I can’t find it now, that compared the CBAs and noted that WNT get health benefits and a guaranteed salary. They didn’t make a huge deal about it but it was the first time I saw someone point out that it was more complicated then Equal Play, Equal Pay. Krieger was also asked directly in an interview around the same time, what they wanted and all she kept saying was Equal Pay, the interviewer pressed for details, she fumbled and couldn’t give any. I remember being disappointed that they weren’t being clear.

  • Reality

    “The negotiations are set to resume. Sunil Gulati, the president of U.S. Soccer, said Thursday that he had had conversations with the new union leadership, and both sides said that a host of negotiating sessions had been scheduled. The first will take place Saturday.”

    No mention yet as to who is the new lawyer to replace Nichols. However, it does appear that the new restructuring on the player’s side is more likely to produce results. The previous relationship proved to be too adversarial which was likely the result of the personalities involved. If an equitable agreement could be reached to the general satisfaction of all parties, then future planning can be more effectively accomplished for the USWNT, the players and the NWSL.


    • Steglitz49

      Once the USWNT bombed in Brasilia, they pulled the rug out from under their own feet. USSF holds the trump but seem wisely to be following Churchill’s dictum: “in victory, magnanimity”.

      As long as the USWNT have the sense to follow USSF lead, there is no reason why a deal can’t be struck soon.

    • guest

      I’ve seen you and your comrade Rick make a lot of unfounded and nasty statements about players like Carli and some others. I’d like to remind you that you know nothing about these players or their personalities or what their teammates think of them in real life. Even your beloved Christen mentioned in an interview that no one knows anything about them.

      • ABCDE

        The young players in particular seem to love Carli

      • guest

        unfortunately, we know alot about hope solo’s real life.

        • sunil

          I know that she is an alleged family beater (But the “kid” was seven feet tall and like 300 pounds) and is married to a POS. Other than that, I don’t know anything about her.

    • SB fan

      From EPSNW
      “Roux, most recently with consulting group McKinsey & Co., will oversee business affairs and operations in addition to her role in the CBA negotation. The players also announced new legal representation, Bredhoff & Kaiser, for the talks.”

    • Silver Frost

      I just want to know who is in charge. The committee thing is alright, but somebody has to be the leader. I assume it’s Rapinoe.

      • Reality

        Rapinoe’s recent attempt at leadership didn’t work out too well. It s not necessarily about being loud, dramatic or aggressive. I think that leadership can also be collaborative where various individuals bring their particular strengths to the table.

      • mockmook

        If it was Rapinoe, why wouldn’t they make her a player rep?

  • guest

    “We are more unified and stronger than ever before”
    In other words, they’re clinging for dear life to their paychecks.
    “[T]he mission and goals of the USWNTPA, including empowering and protecting its members”
    The primary goal of the union is to deny to others the same opportunity they received to play on the national team and it’s called classic rent-seeking behavior.
    “[W]hile inspiring the next generation of players”
    The next generation will have to wait their turn, because this one isn’t going anywhere.

    Time to end the entitlement, disband the union, and allow anyone to be called up, with preference given to NWSL players, of course.

    • Silver Frost

      Without a union these women would be playing for free. I doubt you want the men’s side to play without a union. But women are different I guess.

  • Som Termanni

    USNT 3rd kits supposedly leaked. All red, with maroon sleeves: https://twitter.com/TheMightyFern/status/827395497811800068