USWNT, US Soccer agree to new CBA through 2021

The Equalizer Staff April 5, 2017 182
U.S. Soccer and the USWNT are working partners again. The new collective bargaining agreement runs through 2021. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

U.S. Soccer and the USWNT are working partners again. The new collective bargaining agreement runs through 2021. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

U.S. Soccer and the USWNT Players Association announced Wednesday that they have come to an agreement on a five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that will run through 2021. The agreement calls for an improvement of NWSL standards as well as a commitment by the players to play in the league.

A joint statement by the federation and the players reads as follows:

We are pleased to announce that the 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 women¹s program in the U.S, grow the game of soccer worldwide, and improve the professional lives of players on and off the field. 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 new CBA ends a years-long battle between the sides during which the players staged a public campaign to receive “equal play for equal play,” in comparison to the U.S. men. The impasse often included the players saying all options were on the table up to and including a boycott of last summer’s Olympic Games, but neither side ever started a 60-day clock that would have needed to run out before a work stoppage could begin.

The fine details are still being discovered, but both sides struck a positive tone about the agreement and the process.

“We believe this is another important step to continue our longstanding efforts to drive the growth of women’s soccer in the United States,” Sunil Gulati, president of US Soccer, said. “This agreement helps to ensure the strength of the Women’s national team, provide stability and growth potential for the National Women’s Soccer League, and over time strengthen the elite player development process at the grassroots level. We believe our continued partnership will ensure a bright future for our sport for years to come.”

Said longtime USWNT player Megan Rapinoe: “I am incredibly proud of this team and the commitment we have shown through this entire process. While I think there is still much progress to be made for us and for women more broadly, I think the WNTPA should be very proud of this deal and and feel empowered moving forward.”

Stay tuned for further details…

  • #1Fan

    looking forward to some details. I bet more of the same

    • DNG

      Looks like it. I’m guessing it’s not much more than a pay raise and per diems/accommodation that match the MNT

      • #1Fan

        from what i see from kassouf, I do not see how this moves the game forward. I am incredibly disappointed in some of the journos who seem to think this is onl a battle of the sexes.

        Surely is about moving the game forward as well ?

        • DNG

          The only thing I think will really move the sport forward is a legitimate league. That’s what I think US soccer’s focus should be but it looks like they are okay with the state of things. US Soccer’s extremely flawed development will probably not stop the team from being very good in the short term and as you say results are all that matters.

          • #1Fan

            i guess so . I have never felt the longer term solution was just to pay the incumbents more. It just feels like the hockey players have made the USSF scared of a strike.

          • DNG

            I’m guessing it was just good business from both sides to get the deal done. Until I see more details I’m going to guess that advancing the state of the sport was secondary.

          • DNG

            I’m curious to see if Pugh stay’s in school all 4 years now. She’d almost definitely be given a full contract if she decides to leave early.

          • #1Fan

            a doubling of the min salary in NWSL was mooted by Kassouf.

          • DNG

            That’s a good thing but I think the minimum salary would probably need to be closer to the current max for me to believe the league had really made it or is close to making it.

          • #1Fan

            I agree.

          • DNG

            If this is true it’s hard for me to see Pugh staying in school all 4 years. The rich get richer as the saying goes.

            “Guaranteed contracts for players will continue under the new CBA, with U.S. players receiving significant increases in direct compensation and bonus compensation that could see top-tier players make up to between $200,000 and $300,000 per year. Each party has been using the terms “fair and equitable” pay.”

            Read more at https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/news/us-soccer-womens-players-ratify-new-cba-through-2021-uswnt#VcShiIzuiL1TrLVO.99

          • #1Fan

            I wonder what this means for other sports with no viable pro leagues but national competition?

          • DNG

            That’s a good question that I don’t really have an answer for. I’m guessing that the USWNT brings in significant revenue through sponsor opportunities and whatever else to justify this kind of raise. If the numbers didn’t make sense financially the federation would not have agreed to it. If another sport with similar conditions, let’s say Women’s Hockey, can bring in similar revenue I would guess they could negotiate similar wages at the expense of the rest of the sport.

          • #1Fan

            what about Olympic sports ?

          • DNG

            I think Women’s Ice hockey is pretty much an Olympic sport as that seems like their big competition. Olympians who are in good situations can leverage their own image rights to earn revenue. I think there are a lot more individual events in Olympics sport and the team sports don’t have as much opportunity to leverage their value outside of the Olympics. I guess the members of the USWNT have done enough to be valuable outside of those events. Right now it seems as if the USSF can showcase them around the country against objectively poor competition and people will pay to go see them.

          • LM

            $15,000 is still a paltry amount. The pay gap between the allocated NT players and league players will be even greater now. Haves and have nots. . . .

          • DNG

            I don’t know what there is to be done about it. The US Women’s National Team brings in more money than the nwsl teams and the players are compensated for it

          • rkmid71

            As long as there are no restrictions and relative freedom of movement on and off the team based on performance. The NWSL portion of the pay is a different question. That should be based on what they do for their NWSL teams. The pay gap does not reflect the value gap or talent gap — it’s far far in excess.

          • DNG

            I agree with you especially the point that the pay gap is not representative of talent gap, but the pay structure is still a yearly salary so that free movement on an off the team is just not going to happen as much as it should. The players do not really have an equal opportunity to earn the NT money.

          • rkmid71

            Why is the free movement limited even with the pay structure? I would bet the non-allocated players would play for free to show what they can do and give themselves the best shot to earn an allocated spot for the following year. It’s not a gain for them to get extra roster bonuses or to somehow provide financial incentives for the coaches or USSF not to select them. If I was a non-allocated player, I would play for free and not care about some artificial rule about forcing USSF to offer a contract after so many callups, etc.

          • DNG

            I just don’t think it’s likely that the USSF is going to be leaving a lot of the allocated players off rosters when they are playing them what was reported.

          • rkmid71

            So let’s be clear. Fitness is a non-factor. Performance is a non-factor. What they pay them should be non-factor. Especially if it’s only a 1 year commitment. And especially if they can roster someone else both fitter and in better form for free.

          • DNG

            They can’t roster professional players for free only non professional players that can’t accept money yet. They actually said that compensation for non-contracted players was raised in the negotiations. It does seem like player health is starting to matter more though.

          • rkmid71

            Why can’t they? It’s up to the player isn’t it? Just because the CBA has a clause specifying roster bonus, if the non allocated pro player decides it’s in their interest to waive the bonus, what’s preventing them? They aren’t a party to that contract.

          • DNG

            They might not have negotiated the terms of the contract but I have to imagine they still fall under them. I don’t know why a non contract player would say no to money that they are rightfully owed if call in and I don’t think it really matters as the USSF makes the decision to call them in on the assumption that they will have to pay them.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNTPA has circled the wagons.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNTPA would balk.

          • rkmid71

            Truly mind boggling. I didn’t know it was that egregious. And if I recall, she didn’t even have that many USWNT minutes pre WC. She was selected based on closed door “camp performance”.

          • HOFCToDi

            Boxx was selected because she was the USWNTPA treasurer at that time.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNTPA receive a win bonus and a percentage of the gate receipts based upon the previous CBA. I seriously doubt that has been modified and more likely is now comparable to the men’s side.

          • rkmid71

            A recipe for mediocrity combined with the incompetence of JE. And certainly significantly less than what the USWNT could be. I’m not sure about future “tomato can” status, but this deal brings that into the realm of possibility depending on what investment ROW decides to make. But that seems ok with Gulati. He can now go back to focusing on the men where the real money is. Surely he got some agreement from the women to drop all the lawsuits, etc. in exchange. What a disappointment. More players will retire early, more college players will go overseas, etc, etc. NWSL needs to get beyond its dependence on USSF, which is a dysfunctional organization.

          • HOFCToDi

            Nothing has changed from four years ago aside from the names on the player allocation list.

          • Durr

            The NT players have contracts. Only so many contracts given.

          • Ben

            Yes that is why Amy Rodriguez is being getting call ups still. Other past their prime players are continue get call ups.

          • HOFCToDi

            Relative freedom of movement? You have to be kidding?

            How many players allocated in calendar year 2013 were named to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster?

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NWSL_Player_Allocation#2013

          • CED

            You’re missing the fundamental problem. USWNT should not be paid by USSF for NWSL. The league is thus a joke and the WNT can cry about equality on they want, but they really only want privilege .

          • DNG

            I agree with you. But what is anyone going to do about it when the owners of the league and the USSF agree to do it. The owners don’t want to pay the NT salaries and raise the cap and the USSF says fine we’ll pay the NT players a league salary because they think there is a benefit to their players playing in a league.

          • rkmid71

            Why couldn’t the USSF just subsidize the teams? Owners would have utilize the funds to pay player salaries, but would have some discretion on which players to pay with those funds based on value creation for the club (i.e. there is no guarantee for the NT player on the team, it’s based on them showing up, etc). Owners would be indifferent as in both cases WNT players don’t cost them anything.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNTPA would never see that money. Equal pay for equal play does not apply to the NWSL. The pay to play model is officially dead.

          • #1Fan

            Imagine the bulk of your income coming from International soccer. laughable.

            So now your NT coach has the power to make players wealthy on a relative basis. Performance in the league is irrelevant now.

            The politics embroiled in that are massive.

            No way the “kingmakers” ever get a dispassionate assessment.

          • DNG

            Every coach has favorites and players that they prefer and there are always going to be those that disagree with any coach. If the coach is objectively doing a poor job someone needs to remove the coach. And of course, there are politics all over the place in this federation. We can’t even give kids equal opportunity and treatment on our youth teams. A coach trying to prove to everyone what a genius he/she is comes first.

          • #1Fan

            Ellis owes her job to players still playing. No way that loyalty is ever NOT rewarded with a contract.

          • DNG

            We’ll see what happens but you do raise a good point.

          • mockmook

            Ultimately, JE “owes” her job to winning — if she acts on that, she would be somewhat ruthless on contracts regardless what players did for her in the past.

            However, I think she can (and she probably thinks she can) still play “unjustified” favorites and still win enough to keep her job.

          • #1Fan

            Ultimately , yes, but her relationships with the veteran players got her the chance to replace Sermanni

          • LM

            I don’t have an answer either. US Soccer could mandate that MLS teams partner with (i.e. subsidize) NWSL teams, but the MLS is a closed league made up of franchises. I don’t see the MLS supporting the NWSL financially.

            I am sad for the young US women players. More will quit the league with below minimum wage pay or bypass the league entirely and go abroad like we have seen with this year’s draft class. More young Canadian WNT players will not play in NWSL.

            My main issue is the great disparity in pay which is based largely on entitlement, not merit. My daughter said if she wants to play professionally post college she will only look overseas.

          • DNG

            MLS clubs would never agree to that and I don’t think US Soccer has to power to make that type of mandate. Maybe the State could mandate that MLS clubs who use facilities financed by tax players all be required to have NWSL teams but that still wouldn’t solve the issue of how to make the league a financially viable career path. Only Portland could realistically pay those types of wages at the moment.

            I have a feeling that US Soccer is going to strongly suggest that a players play in the NWSL if they want to be a part of the NT. I only see exceptions being made for players that are special talents but they would probably have no problems getting into the full team if they were that special. And then they would follow the USSF’s rules of being committed to the league.

            At the youth levels, various sources from here have claimed the exact same thing about the entitlement with the youth team. It seems to me, as an outsider, that US Soccer(coaches?) pick players who they want to move though the system and then do every thing they can to help them along even if they aren’t working. I’m not sure that I would agree that the full team is completely devoid of merit although there are definitely some player who I think they should probably move on from.

          • DNG

            Best of luck to your daughter by the way. I think she would probably learn more playing abroad than she would in the NWSL.

          • LM

            Thanks — her goal is to be the best player she can be and her style is better suited to Japan or Europe.

          • DNG

            There are a couple of teams in the NWSL that like to play a more possession oriented game. Best bet is still to go abroad though at least for a period of time. I wouldn’t take a chance on the draft if I was not basically a NT player already. I think Savannah Jordan and Toni Payne have the right idea.

          • Anton

            Yea, it is her decision but it will be a big mistake! Not everyone who goes abroad has a wonderful experience. They all want to come back and play in front of family and friends plus it is a lot less stressful on Mom and Pop! And the player! Unless you are being pampered with gifts of money!

          • #1Fan

            so Internet stranger tells parent whats best for his own child …SMH

          • guest

            i am curious to see if the uswnt nwsl salary get’s raised as well. and if they will continue to be guaranteed to be the highest paid players. especially considering they regularly miss a quarter of the nwsl games.

          • #1Fan

            it has been. the NWSL piece is window dressing IMO .

          • HOFCToDi

            Haves and have nots. . . .

            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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  • WoSoFan

    Finally. Glad this is done so we can move on.

    • #1Fan

      Really? Move on to what exactly ?

      • WoSoFan

        Move on to the NWSL season without this negotiation hanging over it. Onto any new stuff. The coverage of the negotiation had gotten pretty stale in my opinion. All the talks were pretty secret so we weren’t hearing many details. I was just a bit tired of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they got a deal and I hope it’s great for the women. I was rooting for them.

        • #1Fan

          Fair. Im rooting for the game. I hope the terms of this deal impact the womens game at all levels.

  • GT

    Sounds very encouraging. I’m assuming that “equal play for equal play” is a typo. Meant to say “equal pay for equal play”. Kudo’s to Sauerbraun, Klingengberg and Press and any others involved in the negotiation.

    • #1Fan

      can I ask what sounds encouraging to you ?

      • CED

        People who want the same stupid system think this is encouraging.

        • #1Fan

          I think it reflects the fact that people just want to move on. Not enough seem to care to sweat the details. The fact that so few have actually been released and no one is yelling tells me WoSo is right where I think it is – pretty much nowhere.

          The US soccer system is pretty simple. A NT that people watch and a League they have to have to keep up appearances. Unless I ahve my math wrong, a single NT package is potentially greater than the CAP of an entire TEAM.

          I wonder who represents the rank and file NWSLer in this stuff?

          • JL

            Their representation was not legally allowed to bargain for the NWSL players, but there are provisions for higher camp and game roster bonuses in the new CBA for players who aren’t contracted.

          • #1Fan

            So the answer is no one. The only people negotiating are NT players for better terms. The rest is window dressing. NWSL is basically for show

          • DNG

            Well the USSF and Ellis could call in others if they wanted assuming that some of the ridiculous restrictions have been removed or altered. They have every right to use the NWSL as a proving ground if they want to. So far they’ve chosen not to.

          • #1Fan

            im not debating whether its a proving ground or not. I only think it exists FBO the NT. There is no other reason to have it. Economically it has no value

          • DNG

            The Thorns at least do make money and I think another team or two break even. A lot of teams lose money but they aren’t bleeding money and that’s kind of expected in a growing league. Obviously I think the league has a long way to go still but I wouldn’t say that there’s no economic value and that there is no future. I not positive but I think the NFL is the only league where every team makes money. How many years was the MLS bleeding money? I do think that the NWSL needs to find a path for growth though even if it is slow and primarily based on attendance right now. They don’t need to pull huge numbers but they need to need to generate enough revenue to make it a viable career for the lowest on the pay scale.

          • kernel_thai

            Im not sure there were many contractual restriction that kept the pool small…it was simple business principles. U have a company with 24 salaried employees who u r contractually obligated to pay. Is it good business to constantly be bringing in temps to do the work of some of ur salaried employees at a flat rate or would u expect the people u r already paying to do the work? It will be interesting to see if the new CBA makes it cost effective to include a much needed broadening of the pool

          • DNG

            Doubtful on the CBA making it cost effective to call in more non contract players. I think they should eat the expense and do it anyway but it’s not my money and I don’t have details on their finances. #1Fan also brings up a good point that the Coach might be overly loyal to certain players who she feels got her the WC win and her raise to go with it. Coach has a lot of power to give contract and isn’t exactly impartial. Some NWSL players don’t seem to be getting a fair shot. Despite not really being a fan of Ohai I root for player like her and Long who did not have an easy time trying to get into the team and Ohai probably still has a long way to go.

          • mockmook

            “It will be interesting to see if the new CBA makes it cost effective to include a much needed broadening of the pool”

            All indications are it is the opposite.

            1) You are paying the contracted players more, so you have less discretionary money lying around

            2) The “temp” salary has gone up also, so that smaller pool of discretionary money will be available only to FEWER ‘temps”

          • kernel_thai

            And what we got r 22 NWSL allocated players plus Dunn. Very disappointing.

  • Doh

    What does this mean? Settled, same old crap. Veteran protection.

  • dw

    Players win! Wait..what?

    • CED

      Any notion of USWNT being other than a club team loses. Any notion of NWSL being a viable league that is not a charity of USSF loses. Playing a sport for your country is not a full time job if the sport is viable economically.

      • #1Fan

        Spot on . Costs should be covered, but to make it your profession is laughable tells us all that the league is not going to be viable any time soon and if left to real economics – fails

  • guest123
    • DNG

      Do we know exactly what this means? It could just mean that they are now barred from participating any and any potential CBA negotiations between the owners and non-contract players. That would not be good for non-contract players.

    • rkmid71

      Why is a roster bonus a good thing? A bigger roster bonus sounds good, but you don’t want any financial disincentive to restrict a coach or federation from calling in players. And because you’re already paying one group of players a large amount, they probably try to keep any incremental to a minimum (essentially admitting they allocated some of the wrong players to start with).

  • guest

    So i’m guessing vet protection is still a thing. expect to see the same old faces through 2020.

    • #1Fan

      I have not seen anything yet that would suggest otherwise

    • guest

      I really thought they would only get significant pay increases by lifting restrictions on the player pool. Whatever, they’ll never win with a roster of these current vets in 2019.

      • guest

        They’ll take Pinoe, Krieger, Harris, Lloyd, Kling and Long along as dead weight. They won’t see playing time other than Long/Lloyd the way things are shaping up.

        • ABCDE

          I don’t really see Tobin being an impact player through 2020 either. She is injury prone and not getting younger.

          • guest

            you could say the same thing about Alex Morgan.

          • #1Fan

            got to maintain those image rights 🙂

          • DNG

            I’ll wait to see how all the players are looking around tournament time before calling any of them dead weight. Some players still look great at advanced ages. Look at Formiga.

            Edit: Exception is Lloyd who I still think is currently dead weight.

          • guest

            lol. Kling, Pinoe, Lloyd and Long are already dead weight in my opinion.

          • DNG

            I said I thought Lloyd was dead weight in my edit but truthfully all of them are still capable of competing. It’s Ellis’ job to decide when those aging players have been bypassed by the younger generation. Pinoe, if she can get fit, still has a lot of class and Kling is still a solid player even if she’s lost a step. Long is still a good player and one of the best players on her club team(behind Henry and Tobin in my opinion). I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about Lloyd on the NT but she’s still decent on her club teams and was actually good for the Dash last year.

          • guest

            Fine, but unlike most other national teams (correct me if I’m wrong) progression in the roster is delayed by guranteed contracts. It’s not merit based. I could see an African team like Nigeria with hungry, young, athletic players dominating this team in an early round in 2019.

          • DNG

            Most men’s NT are pay per appearance I think. I’m not totally sure about the structure of other women’s NT. I’m guessing that there are contracts for other NT’s but they’re not anywhere near as lucrative and probably not as restrictive of incoming players. I can’t really see an African NT beating the USWNT in the WC. The coach needs to be held responsible for the player selections if they do not come good.

          • guest

            I absolutely think any well coached speedy and physical team can win against Ellis’ national team early in the group or knock out phase. Look at Nigeria v US in the U20s. The current back line is not going to cut it. A 35 year old Sauerbrunn isn’t going to save them.

          • DNG

            U20’s are not the full team and that’s where the US’s investment really starts to pay off. I don’t trust the African teams to be organized enough with their defending either. Could they win? Of course they could but getting beat the way the U20 were is more unlikely. There is also no guarantee that Sauerbrunn will be starting in 2019 or who her partner will be.

          • rkmid71

            Do you trust the USWNT defending and GK at this point? Do you trust JE in selecting the right players for the right position? I would say all bets are off — at the moment, the African teams (and many others) have a better chance of scoring goals than they did in the past against the US. And we have Lloyd clogging up our offense and an unsettled midfield. The US was beaten 3-0 by France in the 2017 SBC, lost 2 of 3, and finished last. Worst result ever in a major tournament in OG2016. Could the US still win in 2019? It’s possible, but less likely than ever and the way they got beat by France was eerily similar to the way the U20 were beat by Ghana. France was more athletic and more skilled.

          • #1Fan

            Any system that does not allow the freedom to call up any player is not optimal. I have no cares as to how much of the pie the p[layer take, but I do have an issue with limiting the numbers of players who can eat said pie.

          • DNG

            I completely agree. I don’t know what restrictions there are with that stuff yet. All I’ve heard is that the non-contract players called in will be compensated more than in the past.

          • guest

            I don’t think Lloyd is dead weight to a greater degree than at least 6 other players currently called up. She is the only aerial threat they have (other than Horan, JJ, and Mewis, who are still unknowns as far as their role at this point).

          • DNG

            She absolutely is more dead weight than Long, Krieger and Harris. If Pinoe can get back to anything resembling her WC form it’s no contest. I want to see how she does this year. Klingenberg is still a good player just not quick enough to play fullback against the best teams. So maybe you have a case with Pinoe an Kling but I respectfully disagree on the others.

          • DNG

            And none of the other field players are playing in positions created for them.

          • kernel_thai

            Morgan doesn’t have to be. Sad truth is the US produces fast forward by the gross. Heath may be harder to replace.

  • One of a Kind

    So, does that mean USWNT players will once more be forced to play stateside for the next five years? If so, that’s a shame. It’s been fun following Alex Morgan’s escapades in France and the ambition shown by Crystal Dunn is encouraging…

  • AlexH

    The fine details are being discovered????? What is that supposed to mean? Other than the fact that a deal has been struck, does anybody know anything more?

    • #1Fan

      I just read that in return for committing to the NWSL, USSF may gtee NWSL meets min field/ref/travel standards ..

      Im still rolling on the floor laughing

      Is this supposed to be serious or not ?

      • DNG

        You laugh but that was actually an issue last year. More to the point I do agree that there is still a very long way to go

        • #1Fan

          i know it was an issue, but my points we are talking about big money for class A and a “concession:” is actually having an infrastructure in place to support the game itself. Its a joke.

          • DNG

            I agree with your overall point. In the context of the sport overall and specifically the league, not much progress.

      • guest

        i’m sure alex morgan will get a vet waiver to said nwsl committment.

    • guest123

      None of the journalist saw the CBA personally except for what US soccer gave them in the press release.This article summarizes some details of the CBA in bullet points.

      http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2017/4/5/15190488/uswnt-cba-deal-united-states-national-team-usa-womens-soccer

      • #1Fan

        i dont mean to be rude, but womens soccer is much more than JUST the US WNT

      • AlexH

        Thanks for the link. If the report is accurate it looked like the new leadership dropped the crazy and struck a pretty good bargain.
        What remains to be seen is how much latitude the coach has in picking the best roster possible.

        • guest123

          If it’s really true that there is no limit in how many non-allocated NWSL players can bring in before they have to be given a contract, I think Ellis has no more excuses for putting out the best roster.

          • #1Fan

            so ..if they are committed to more expensive central contracts for say 24 players , why call in loads more at extra cost. Just asking

    • HOFCToDi

      The fine details?

      Avarice
      Entitlement
      Exclusivity
      Pomposity

      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • guest123

    Now that the CBA is out of the way. We can speculate (besides the obvious ones) who will be the new allocated players this year. The picture below was taken last Saturday from the team’s instagram story which has since been deleted. In case you are wondering, Alex Morgan probably took this picture since she was the one chosen to do the instagram takeover. It looks like at the least, Allie Long, Casey Short & Lynn Williams might be the new allocated players. You’ll also notice that the players sitting in the table are probably the ones on the bargaining committee while the rest are sitting on the back.

    https://twitter.com/AndrewDasNYT/status/849717232510828544

    • Reality

      Well it does seem like the whole team was united and contributing to the result…

      “The United States women’s soccer team pressed its fight for equal pay not in one dramatic moment at the negotiating table, but in a thousand small ones away from it. In text messages and phone calls, in hotel rooms and on bus rides, and at home in far-flung cities, the players fine-tuned their needs and their arguments and their solidarity.

      Sometimes the suggestions arrived in an overnight email from forward Alex Morgan in France, or a late-night one from midfielder Megan Rapinoe on the West Coast. They sent out anonymous surveys to their teammates, to better gauge what people prioritized but might not want to say aloud, and weighed in on legal language and PowerPoint slides in a cache of shared Google Docs.

      As the talks intensified in recent weeks, players like Becky Sauerbrunn and Meghan Klingenberg conferred with teammates like Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press to propose changes as small as a single word in page after page of proposed contract language. Then they would rehearse what they would say at each negotiating session, and even decide who would say it.”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/sports/soccer/uswnt-us-soccer-labor-deal-contract.html

      • mockmook

        Going by that article, I see nothing that indicates that more NWSL players will actually get a chance to play for the team — it may be just the opposite.

        And, it seems the pay disparity between the USWNT players and the other NWSL players will become greater.

        The lone positive is that the USSF will still subsidize the NWSL.

        • #1Fan

          I agree wholeheartedly. It seems to me that the upper class have been satisfied and thats all that really counts. The NWSL has no voice at the table and no leverage at all.

          • DNG

            I have to admit that I am worried by the “legally barred from negotiating for NWSL players” This could easily mean that they are not able to participate in CBA negotiations between the NWSL players and the owners which would not be good for the NWSL players but would make sense since the players are contracted through US Soccer.

        • Reality

          Although there is a natural tendency here toward speculation based on insufficient information, we don’t yet have all the facts. I’m waiting to see the actual text of the CBO before rushing to judgement.

          • mockmook

            I believe we will only see the text if there is another lawsuit that forces its disclosure.

          • Reality

            One way or the other, more information will be forthcoming to enable a more thorough evaluation.

    • HOFCToDi

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIHJ9RMAVGI

      Meet the new boss
      Same as the old boss

      It’s not “won’t get fooled again” but “USWNTPA rules again”.

    • HOFCToDi

      Allie Long?

      BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Allie Long doesn’t know the meaning of the word defense.

    • captainfate

      This picture wasn’t actually taken from the instagram story (it’s also very clearly not square. Instagram force crops your photos into a square when you post a story). The Instagram story (which only lasts for 24 hours, like a snapchat post) they were actually referring to was the one Allie Long took showing the backbenchers sitting together all dressed in the same clothes.

      Alex Morgan’s instagram takeover was only yesterday – a couple of days or so too late for this particular picture.

  • Guest

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland-thorns/2017/04/portland_thorns_unsure_if_tobi.html

    A small bit of new info regarding the Thorns and their plethora of injuries. Parsons says they’re “hopeful but not sure” if Heath/Horan will play in the opener. His description of their injuries seems much more vague than the other players’, trying to screw with Orlando’s game plan perhaps?

    • DNG

      I don’t see how this is going to screw with Orlando’s game who will almost definitely prepare like they will play until told otherwise. Not sure that those two playing or not will really alter Orlando’s game plan all that much either.

  • kernel_thai

    Hard to speculate too much without seeing actual details of the new CBA but it seems like a victory for the NT players and a set back for everyone else. I think it’s pretty hopeful to see contract players guaranteed money being double will lead to a wider pool. The way u get a wider pool is give the 24 existing contracts a smaller increase and use the money saved to create another tier of contracts at a lower level. This spend the same amount of money but gets it into the hands of more players. It also encourages the coach to actually use these additional pool player as the USSF is paying them. While it’s nice they kicked up floater pay and increased the number of floaters who can be called, there is still no incentive to actually call them in and pay them more money to replace the players u’ll be paying regardless.

    • mockmook

      “give the 24 existing contracts a smaller increase and use the money saved to create another tier of contracts at a lower level.”

      You don’t “save” money by giving raises — as you imply elsewhere, the higher USWNT salaries means fewer “floaters” can be called in.

      • kernel_thai

        Well that would be the result anyway. What if the new contract offered this
        14 tier 1 at $100K and 10 contracts divided between tier 2 (($70K) and Tier 3 ($50K)
        That gets u the original 24 contracts with about a 30% raise on each tier. Now u add a fourth tier of 8 contracts at $25K or 10 at $20K. Now ur paying 32-34 players for the same money u just spent doubling the pay in the old CBA. There is less need for floaters as u likely included all ur pro players on the periphery in the contract but u still have the floater option if someone comes along. U also still can call amateur players as they don’t count against the contract. More importantly there will be pressure from management to be using the players they r paying so u won’t be seeing the same ole roster every time.

        • HOFCToDi

          Not according to this article:

          nytimes.com/2017/04/05/sports/soccer/uswnt-us-soccer-labor-deal-contract.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1

          “The agreement includes a sizable increase in base pay for the players — more than 30 percent, initially — and improved match bonuses that could double some of their incomes, to $200,000 to $300,000 in any given year, and even more in a year that includes a World Cup or Olympic campaign.”

        • DNG

          I can’t remember the details but I think there were 18 tier 1 contracts in the last CBA. And I thought you were immediately given one if you made a major tournament roster but maybe that’s wrong.

          • kernel_thai

            I don’t remember the numbers but there is a stipulation that if u make a WC or OG roster u r tier 1 the following year.

          • DNG

            Probably a min of 18 Tier 1 then.

          • kernel_thai

            It was 14 in the CBA and likely went to 18 in the MOU

    • #1Fan

      increasing the reward for a low probability event is kinda window dressing. Bottom line is incumbents got more and the rest got what SHOULD be the bare minimum in a serious league refs, decent fields and proper working conditions.

      Seems like a win for those that are already winning and Gulati gets what he wants. Shuts up the vocal players – Solo, Lloyd , replaces them with moderates who did a deal.

  • guest

    Wow…. I bet this just restricts the player pool even more. Equality… unless you are an NWSL/other promising player that isn’t yet in the vet club. Bunch of entitled hypocrites.

  • guest123

    2017 USWNT Allocated list just came out.

    The following is a club-by-club list of U.S. federation players for the 2017 NWSL season:

    Boston Breakers: Rose Lavelle*

    Chicago Red Stars: Julie (Johnston) Ertz, Alyssa Naeher, Christen Press and Casey Short*

    Houston Dash: Morgan Brian and Carli Lloyd

    FC Kansas City: Sydney Leroux, Amy Rodriguez and Becky Sauerbrunn

    North Carolina Courage: Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams*

    Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Alex Morgan

    Portland Thorns FC: Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg, Allie Long* and Emily Sonnett

    Seattle Reign FC: Megan Rapinoe

    Sky Blue FC: Kelley O’Hara

    Washington Spirit: None

    Key
    * = New federation player in 2017

    http://nwslsoccer.com/nwsl-announces-u-s-wnt-allocated-players-for-2017-season

  • guest

    I wish one of the lefty journos around there would ask Gulati how this deal benefits women’s soccer in this country, when in fact what it does is allow an elite group of players to hold on to their jobs and collect their big paychecks while the vast majority of players in the NWSL eke out a living on meager pay.

    If they wanted a fair and “equitable” system, they would allow anyone in the NWSL to be called up based on the quality of their play and then reward them for it. This would benefit more players by spreading more money around the league, help keep the league on sound financial footing, as well as benefiting the NT by allowing the best players to compete for spots.

    Instead we have a Veterans Retention Program that allows a few elite players to hang on to their jobs, based on what they did in the past, by restricting the number of call ups to the NT, and a head of US Soccer (an economist!) who thinks this is a good idea. This is not an equitable plan. It’s an unsound, unfair, and unjustifiable one.

    • #1Fan

      its a good idea for them becasue it safe guards the NT product. It gives them name brand players, continuity and labor peace. The only marketable thing about WoSo in the US is the NT.

      They do not care at all about the NWSL really. Any concessions to it are simply to allow the NT players to save face in the locker room.

      The deal is not about helping WoSo per se, its about paying the WNT a bigger share of what they bring in. My contention is they would bring in similar amounts whomever was wearing the jersey. The jersey itself should not be given on anything but performance with a larger weight to current performance.

      • kernel_thai

        They don’t believe in rewarding performance as much as potential and marketability. What they r going to find, I fear is as the team slips from it’s dominant position to a more competitive one, that marketability will decline

        • #1Fan

          i will slightly disagree. They do reward performance, but historical seems to carry a lot of weight relative to current.

          I think nationalism is very strong and thats where the $$ are made. Marketability only really impacts the off field earnings of a few of them now.

          Make no mistake, the game is not popular, rooting for the USA is.

          • kernel_thai

            Im still of the opinion that the popularity of the WNT is tied to their absurd success rate more than nationalism. American fans tend to support niche sports when they r successful like woman’s Gymnastics, Swimming, Figure Skating. Take gymnastics for example. Is men’s gymnastics nearly as popular in the US as woman’s? If the WNT were reduced to a WC quarterfinalist instead of being in the hunt for the title every four years Im not sure they would be that well supported.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USWNT was reduced to an Olympic quarterfinalist.

            Average Attendance
            2012 Victory Tour – 15,521
            2016 Pity Tour – 16,773

      • guest

        I know you’re only being realistic here, but:

        “It gives them name brand players” You could take any twenty players from the NWSL and people would still come out to cheer the US shirt, because the shirt is the brand, not the players. Only Morgan, and maybe Lloyd–if you believe FIFA–really have any drawing power.

        “They do not care at all about the NWSL” The mission of USSF is to promote all soccer in the country, not just the NT.

        “The deal is not about helping WoSo per se” But they made this big, sweeping claim that this deal benefits woso as a whole, when it really doesn’t.

        “The only marketable thing about WoSo in the US is the NT”
        I agree, but we can do it more fairly and more equitably. Look, the day will come when they’ll have to abandon the salary model, because it just doesn’t make sense. Just disappointed it didn’t come sooner.

        • #1Fan

          I am only interpreting what I see.

          I did say

          My contention is they would bring in similar amounts whomever was wearing the jersey. The jersey itself should not be given on anything but performance with a larger weight to current performance.

          USSF will tell you they are via the GDA. The can argue that the NWSL is really the responsibility of the owners.

          Its lip service. The players can say, we took care of the rank and file

          The only problem the USSF are trying to solve is

          How do we ensure a NT with players the public knows for the next few years covering the WC . Answer , buy off the players – which they did

          IF Jordan had made it known she was staying in the US, is she the #1 pick? and if so, is she allocated? I still dont understand how a player like that in a clear position of need is ignored.

  • kernel_thai

    So they allocated 22 players in the NWSL and Dunn makes 23. This combined with Ellis’ new obsession with young amateur players doesn’t bode well for a wider pool or more diversification of USSF money. Disappointing.

    • rkmid71

      A wider pool is critical to ensure day to day competition for spots. Competition and having ready replacements is what makes players better and keeps them sharp and fit. Take that away, and it’s a recipe for mediocrity. Which is what we seem to have all over again. Of course, the USSF marketing team and the sponsors will be inundating us with how great they are….even when they suck. Like those YNTs before the WCs. Or like the USWNT after the 2015WC, which then proceeded to fail miserably at the 2016OG and the 2017SBC.

      • kernel_thai

        Add a coach who is a bad talent evaluator and a technical director willing to push forward totally unready young athletes in a desperate effort to show development is working.

        • rkmid71

          Desperate to show development is working and/or to keep with Canada’s youth movement … our 1 competitor in Concacaf.

          • HOFCToDi

            Costa Rica makes more of an effort than Mexico.

            us.soccerway.com/teams/costa-rica/costa-rica/7588/

        • HOFCToDi

          Amateurs only cost the USSF per diem.

      • #1Fan

        I think this can be argued both ways. Fewer allocated means more potential ad hocs OR fewer allocated with greater fixed cost, means less incentive to go outside for adhocs.

        Personally i think it means allocated players + kids 🙂

        AN Nwsl er in their mid 20s who is not allocated is toast

        • kernel_thai

          Well it seems they’ve increased floater days and floater money so Id guess they may have also pushed up the number of service weeks it takes to force a contract. There r always tradeoffs in these things.

    • HOFCToDi

      It’s called expenses.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/sports/soccer/uswnt-us-soccer-labor-deal-contract.html?smid=tw-share&_r=2

      “The agreement includes a sizable increase in base pay for the players — more than 30 percent, initially — and improved match bonuses that could double some of their incomes, to $200,000 to $300,000 in any given year, and even more in a year that includes a World Cup or Olympic campaign.”

      I wonder if ticket prices will skyrocket because attendance has not since the 2012 Victory Tour.

      http://www.ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/results-statistics

      • kernel_thai

        What did the USSF gain by doubling the pay of 24 contracts. Were NT players claiming poverty and quitting the team because $70K plus another $40K for the NWSL play wasn’t enough for them? Where the US is leaking talent is the next tier of talent that can’t get in on the NT bonanza and isn’t going to hang around and develop based on slim hope and NWSL money.

        • HOFCToDi

          The USSF achieved labor peace for the next five years. The USWNTPA were claiming poverty in relation to the USMNTPA.
          The USWNTPA members are only fueled by personal greed. Riffraff keep out.

          • kernel_thai

            CBAs always come down to management offering more money to avoid more costly contract changes. The PA decided taking the money was easier than fighting to solve the real problems.

          • HOFCToDi

            USWNTPA does not give a damn about the NWSL rank and file. Who are you kidding?

  • guest123

    Off-Topic: Canada vs Sweden is live now on Youtube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1rN3OYNHXg

    • guest123

      CAN Starting XI – Labbe, Sinclair(c), Lawrence, Buchanan, Zadorsky, Chapman, Scott, Schmidt, Fleming, Beckie, Rose

      SWE Starting X1 – Lindahl, Samuelsson, Fischer, Sembrant, Andersson – Johansson, Dahlkvist, Asllani, Seger(c), Hurtig, Schough

      • guest123

        HT: Sweden 0 – 1 Canada, Janine Beckie 33′

      • guest123

        FT: Sweden 0 – 1 Canada, Janine Beckie 33′

  • guest

    as a CRS fan Vanessa Dibernardo and Colaprico should probably figure out something else to do with their lives. Their teammate Press didn’t exactly go to bat for players like them it seems.

    • anon

      Why would she? 7 months ago she was probably an “at risk” player herself. Why worry about giving up your hundreds of thousands of dollars per year guaranteed income?

      • #1Fan

        she was never at risk

        • guest

          Yeah, I think she was.

    • rkmid71

      Yep. The USWNTPA members/players can spin it all they want, and I’m sure they will, but I don’t see how this is good for any NWSL non-allocated player. It’s hard to figure how NWSL players decide to keep playing for such meager wages, when the league performance is really not significant for USWNT allocated players or for selection purposes. As long as the allocated players perform ok or good enough (from JE’s perspective) for the WNT, how they perform for club is not material — or even if they play at all.

    • HOFCToDi

      The USSF allocated Rose Lavelle and Allie Long in lieu of Vanessa DiBernardo and Danielle Colaprico.

      • guest

        Honestly I’m finding this team increasingly unlikeable. I tend to prefer underdogs anyway.

        • HOFCToDi

          Nothing has changed from four years ago aside from the names on the player allocation list.

          USWNTPA is an exclusive country club not a soup kitchen.

        • rkmid71

          I agree with you. The unlikeability shot up further with OG2016. The poor sportsmanship, lack of leadership, etc. on top of poor performance. I think Europe will be where all the WoSo action will be in coming years. More and more top US players (college and NWSL) will look to play there … further strengthening those leagues. The USWNT and USSF can continue to operate the way they do. No one will care that much. NWSL will evolve into something resembling how MLS compares to top Euro leagues (i.e. not great soccer to watch, second tier league with a few good players and teams).

          • HOFCToDi

            No one cares because no one in the region cares.

            http://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/concacaf.html

            Note the number of member associations delisted from the FIFA Rankings due to inactivity.

          • rkmid71

            I also noted that UEFA has 15 member associations ranked in top 25. Concacaf has 2. AFC has 5.

          • HOFCToDi

            I am talking about active participation. The situation is worse in CONMEBOL than CONCACAF on a percentage basis.

            http://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/conmebol.html

          • rkmid71

            Even with 100% active participation, the competition would be woeful in CONCACAF AND CONMEBOL. But you’re right, you have to actively participate to actually improve and about 2/3 or more in those federations don’t.

    • lol

      Ironically, Press spews more bs about equality than anyone.

  • guest

    the uswnt players wanted equal pay but they say they are not yet ready for equal opportunity on the uswnt. getting paid over $50,000 a year salary in the nwsl for six months work is not enough financial security for them. they still need a uswnt salary too. they never wanted equality. they never wanted usmnt pay to play. what a shocker!

  • htm222

    Here’s an idea. Give them what they want – equal pay to the men – and enforce pay to play. No guaranteed contracts, or change the structure so more have opportunities.

    • HOFCToDi

      The response from the country club better known as the USWNTPA:

      Negative
      Nein
      Nope
      Nyet

      You can actually have your cake and eat it too.

    • HOFCToDi

      The USWNTPA won and the USSF lost.

      #USWNTforLife