Q&A with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan on Common Goal and the USWNT
Ahead of the U.S. women's soccer game against New Zealand in Denver on Friday night (ESPN2, 10 ET), espnW's Julie Foudy sat down with forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Megan Rapinoe to talk about their involvement with the Common Goal initiative and the current state of the national team.
Julie Foudy: What is Common Goal?
Megan Rapinoe: Common Goal is an initiative where professional athletes can donate 1 percent of their salary to help fund soccer projects around the world.
Alex Morgan: For me individually, I'll be giving 1 percent of probably both national team and NWSL salary because it is more like hundreds of dollars, whereas some of the other players who have signed on, some of the other footballers around the world, it would be significantly more, their 1 percent. So for us, I think we'd be giving out a minimum of 1 percent, probably a little bit more.
Foudy: How much do you actually contemplate that right there? That the men at 1 percent is a much different figure than the women at 1 percent.
Rapinoe: That is the beauty of the project, no matter what you make, your 1 percent is your 1 percent and that's important, but when you start comparing the 1 percents and what that means, you know, for us, I think if we add up both it's somewhere between [$2,000] and $3,000, maybe even a little less than that. Then, for the men players, they're probably donating between [$200,000] and $300,000. I think that that's striking. That was sort of something that kind of came out of this that we weren't really expecting, an opportunity to talk about equal pay again.
Foudy: How important is it to have women involved in this?
Rapione: I think it's huge that both genders are represented. I think it's important for us to bring our perspective.
Foudy: You've both lived the growth of soccer in this country, from the times that it was less popular to now it being very popular. How frustrating is it to see still that, in other countries globally, there is a resistance to letting girls play soccer?
Rapinoe: It's actually incredibly frustrating. We're one of the better countries in terms of that, but you still see the resistance here. To know that around the world it's getting better, which is a positive, but, to be very realistic, it's not anywhere near good enough. It feels like, in a lot of ways, this constant struggle.
Morgan: I think the hardest thing for me is that I do see progress, but it is extremely slow.
Foudy: With regard to the national team, how do you balance rebuilding with at the same time not losing that confidence that you're the team that people should fear?
Rapinoe: It is a difficult balance. I think in a year like this, there's two ways you look at it. There's results and then there's performances. I think in a rebuilding year you can sacrifice on the results a little bit insofar as you can that your performances are getting better and you're building. Personally I've been disappointed with the performances. I don't think that we've made all the strides we've wanted to, and that's something we talk about internally and individually. That needs to be better. We need to be growing and progressing and obviously the game on the women's side is growing so much. The Euros were fantastic. All the teams that came to She Believes and Tournament of Nations really showed up and put great performances on the field, and I think that we need to do a better job of doing the same.
Morgan: I think inconsistency has been difficult for players to come in and play their best for the national team, so moving forward I'm hoping we can pick it up and get back to where we left off or even surpass that.