As the U.S. Women’s National Team celebrates their newly minted deal to attain equal pay with the Men’s National Team, we remember the day when they couldn’t even beat a team of 15-year-old boys.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced that it had reached a deal with the men’s and women’s players’ unions to pay the two the same amount in salary, benefits, and bonuses with a collective bargaining agreement that will run through 2028.
The agreement was several years in the making as members of the women’s team have been agitating for equal pay with their male counterparts for a long time.
The women even pushed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation to force the league to pay them the same as the male players.
But even during testimony for that lawsuit, USWNT star Cari Lloyd admitted that the women’s team was not as strong, as fast, or as good as the U.S. Men’s team players.
U.S. Women’s soccer star Carli Lloyd (JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)
Her admission is not just speculation, either. There is solid proof of the contention that the women players simply don’t play at the same level men do. In fact, several years ago, the U.S. Women’s team proved that males play at a much higher level than females.
In 2017, the U.S. Women’s National team played an exhibition game with FC Dallas against the club’s under-15 boys team. The famed women’s team, the winner of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, was soundly defeated in a 5-2 final.
U.S. Women’s National Team Captain Megan Rapinoe (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
The financials also speak to the fact that the U.S. Men’s team plays at a different level than the USWNT. For instance, in 2018, the Men’s World Cup earned an amazing $3.572 billion worldwide. On the other hand, the most the women’s World Cup ever made for a single series was the 1.12 billion it earned in 2019.
The fact is, men’s soccer outsells women’s soccer in tickets and sponsorship and draws millions more viewers on TV.
As the teens who whomped the U.S. woman’s team and the typical annual earnings prove, women’s soccer is just not the same as men’s soccer. So, paying women the same as men actually means women have more earning power compared to men when measuring how much they bring into the league.