Bill introduced in Congress hopes to force US Soccer Federation to pay men's and women's national team members equally

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Bill introduced in Congress hopes to force US Soccer Federation to pay men's and women's national team members equally
A young holds a sign supporting equal pay for the USWNT.AP Photo/Jessica Hill
  • USWNT players have long fought against USSF to demand equal compensation to their male counterparts.
  • As of International Women's Day, the fight for fair pay has moved to Congress via the GOALS Act.
  • The bill threatens to block federal funding of the 2026 World Cup until the USWNT is paid equitably.

US Women's National Team players have long been waging a battle against the US Soccer Federation in pursuit of fair compensation.

And now, their high-profile fight is headed to Congress.

Bill introduced in Congress hopes to force US Soccer Federation to pay men's and women's national team members equally
The USWNT celebrates its 2019 World Cup victory.AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Two members of the US House of Representatives - Congresswoman Doris Matsui of California and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut - introduced legislation on International Women's Day to demand equal pay for the USWNT. The Give Our Athletes Level Salaries (GOALS) Act aims to force USSF's hand and finally give the most accomplished soccer players in the United States wages on par with those of the US Men's National Team.

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"Stars such as Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd are household names, yet their hard work - which has brought our nation various World Cups including the most recent tournament - is grossly undervalued," Congresswoman Matsui said. "From factory floors to the boardroom, to the soccer pitch of the world's biggest stage, women everywhere perform the same job and do not get what they deserve - equal pay for equal work."

Bill introduced in Congress hopes to force US Soccer Federation to pay men's and women's national team members equally
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan celebrate a USWNT World Cup goal.REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The GOALS Act aims to force the Federation's hand by withholding federal funding from the 2026 Men's World Cup until USSF provides equal pay to the USWNT. The World Cup will be hosted collectively by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The bill comes just three months after players settled part of its lawsuit with US Soccer - and less than a year after a judge dismissed the compensation portion of the suit.

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The Federation has consistently fought back against calls for equal pay despite the women's team's competitive and financial success. The USWNT has won four World Cups to the men's nil, and the team has brought in more revenue than the USMNT since 2015, per the Wall Street Journal.

Bill introduced in Congress hopes to force US Soccer Federation to pay men's and women's national team members equally
USWNT players protest against the US Soccer Federation before a 2020 SheBelieves Cup game.AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter

But now, with the threat of reduced capital to back its World Cup investment five years down the line, US Soccer could perhaps have a renewed outlook on the matter of equal pay.

"The US Women's National Team, women who have captivated the global soccer community, deserve the same compensation as their male counterparts," Congresswoman DeLauro said. "The US Soccer Federation must be held accountable and end its discriminatory practices. The GOALS Act will bring our nation a step closer to equal pay for all professional athletes."

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