The U.S. women's national team and U.S. Soccer remain locked in negotiations, even as the team's current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on Thursday, both sides announced Wednesday. Negotiations, which have been held in Chicago and Washington D.C., will continue through April.
"The discussions, which have included equalizing FIFA World Cup Prize money and a first-ever framework for revenue sharing as part of each respective labor agreement, are complex and require significant due diligence from all parties," a statement from U.S. Soccer said. "Nevertheless, we feel we are closer to reaching agreements on these issues than ever before."
The USWNT Players Association echoed that optimism, calling recent negotiation sessions "productive."
The federation and the USWNT announced last month that they had reached a settlement to end the team's lawsuit alleging wage discrimination, but that settlement was contingent on a new CBA being ratified. That equal pay settlement, worth $24 million, included a promise from U.S. Soccer to provide "an equal rate of pay going forward" for both the U.S. men's and women's teams.
But one of the sticking points has been how to handle FIFA prize money between the two teams. In previous contracts, U.S. Soccer paid the men multiples more for their World Cup performances, which the federation has blamed on FIFA prize money. In the last World Cup cycle, FIFA awarded the winners of the men's tournament $38 million, about 10 times what it awarded the winners of the women's tournament.
The USWNT players had sued U.S. Soccer back in 2019, alleging gender discrimination due to unequal bonuses between the men's and women's national teams. The players sought $67 million in back pay.
A judge dismissed the lawsuit last year, but the USWNT appealed, and oral arguments were set to begin in March.