US Women’s National Team stars fighting for equal pay on soccer field


Hope Solo, goalkeeper of the United States, reacts during the World Cup Group D match against Sweden at Winnipeg Stadium in Winnipeg, Canada, on Friday, June 12, 2015. (Wang Lili/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)

Since winning the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, defending champion members of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) are intensely trying to fight the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay, filing a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging wage discrimination on March 31.

Officially filing the complaint are five USWNT players: goalkeeper Hope Solo, forward Alex Morgan, midfielders Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, as well as co-captain defender Becky Sauerbrunn. The women’s attorney, Jeffrey Kessler refers to the federation’s own numbers in saying that U.S. Soccer earned $16 million off the USWNT last year, while the men’s team costed $2 million, according to Sports Vice.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Solo said. “We are the best in the world, have three world cup championships, four Olympic championships, and the USMNT get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships.”

The “numbers” Solo was referring to don’t lie.

The Los Angeles Times shows a detailed chart shows the difference in men’s soccer to women’s: In 2015 the men got paid regardless if they win or lose; the women have had the same salary since 2013 and only get paid if they win. The men earned $5,000 per loss, $6250 for a tie and $9,000 per win; he women earned $1,350 per win.

As a result of the wage gap, there has been a growing tension between the U.S. Women’s team and U.S. Soccer, which decides how much the women’s and men’s national teams get paid.

In fact, U.S. Soccer said they “reluctantly” sued the U.S. Women’s Team in February to try and deter them from a potential strike, publicly publishing the personal information — addresses and phone numbers — of 28 players in court filings along the way, per Sports Vice.

U.S. Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton said on Twitter, “Wouldn’t want to face these women on the field or in the courtroom. Every woman deserves equal pay.”

As for the complaint and lawsuit — to the possibility of equal pay — only time will tell what will come.

“We continue to be told that we should be grateful just to have the opportunity to play professional soccer and to get paid for doing it,” Solo said. “And in this day and age, it’s about equality, it’s about equal rights, it’s about equal pay … We believe it’s our responsibility for women’s sports and specifically for women’s soccer to really do whatever it takes to push for equal pay and equal rights and be treated with respect.”