USWNT's Alex Morgan cautiously 'optimistic' about new USSF proposals

United States women's national team forward Alex Morgan has said the players are "hopeful" about new proposals put forward by U.S. Soccer in their fight for equal pay but added that they still need to make sure the commitment at least matches what they were earning before.

The USSF released a statement on Tuesday that said it had offered the U.S. men's and women's national teams identical proposals for a new collective bargaining agreement.

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"We still need to chat about the statement given by U.S. Soccer. But any commitment to equal pay publicly is good," Morgan said Wednesday. "However, we need to look line by line at what they're actually providing, because if you have equal but it's not even what we got before, or to the value that we are, then we still consider that to be not good enough.

"We will continue to work with U.S. Soccer moving forward, looking towards equal and fair payment and treatment.

"We don't want to start the new year without a new CBA in effect, so that's the number one priority of our PA, of our legal team. Looking at the [USSF] statements, it's difficult to say, we want to feel encouraged and we want to be optimistic, but we have seen a lot of statements before.

"What we really want to do is see what we can do at the negotiation table, see those statements be put into action in those negotiations. So of course we're always hopeful. Under the new proposal put forward by the USSF, it said it also wouldn't agree to a CBA with either team that didn't take the important step of equalizing FIFA World Cup prize money."

USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone had also released an open letter earlier in the week imploring the USWNT and USMNT to come to the negotiating table together and work out a means of splitting the World Cup money.

However, the USWNT Players Association said Wednesday that the identical contract proposal was just a publicity stunt.

"USSF's PR stunts and bargaining through the media will not bring us any closer to a fair agreement," the USWNTPA said on Twitter.

"In contrast, we are committed to bargaining in good faith to achieve equal pay and the safest working conditions possible. The proposal that USSF made recently to us does neither."

The USSF hit back at the claim on Twitter and said the offer was "real, authentic and in good faith."

It also criticised the movie "LFG," which documents the USWNT's legal journey for equal pay as "one-sided." The USSF had been invited to partake but declined to do so.

The USWNT's labor agreement expires at the end of 2021, while the men's team has been operating under the terms of a deal that expired in 2018.