USWNT and US Soccer agree three-month extension to avoid strike


US Soccer will no longer pay salaries to the US women’s national team to play in the NWSL, a move that was long-awaited but is now official.

The US Football Association on Monday announced an agreement to end the current allocation system. It also announced a three-month extension of the collective bargaining agreement with the USWNT Players Association (USWNTPA), which was due to expire on December 31, 2021.

The sides agreed on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that moves the expiration to March 31, 2022 “to ensure we have sufficient time to reach an agreement,” US Soccer said.

The organization reiterated its request that the USWNT and the USA men’s national team, whose contract expired in December 2018, “agree on a way forward that benefits everyone” and prioritize the alignment of FIFA prize money.

the This was announced by the USWNT Players’ Association in a statement It is committed to good faith negotiations, “but we will make sure our players and our fans know when the USSF misrepresents what is happening in our discussions.”

US Soccer no longer supports USWNT salaries

US Soccer will no longer pay salaries to USWNT stars in the NWS like Mallory Pugh. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The payroll is part of the current CBA and will transform player movement within the league, something that has already been seen over the past year.

US Soccer founded the NWSL in 2012 and managed and financially supported the league up until this year. These included regulations requiring players assigned by USWNT to compete in the NWSL.

USWNT players assigned to NWSL clubs were paid up to $99,000 in salary by the association. It was more than the NWSL’s current maximum club-paid salary of $52,500. But it was less than the lucrative offers in Europe, and the CBA only allowed a certain number of USWNT players to go overseas. In 2021 there were three.

Top talent will still have higher salaries

The NWSL introduced allotment funds ahead of the 2020 season, allowing team owners to pay more for Stars. But USWNT and Canada national team players were initially left out of the deal.

Clubs are now transitioning USWNT players to NWSL contracts and using grant funds to pay them more than the standard maximum salary. The Portland Thorns signed Lindsey Horan and Crystal Dunn directly, and the Chicago Red Stars used the allotment money to sign four USWNT players, according to The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf.

USWNT players join the NWSL union

With all players now signing directly with individual NWSL clubs, they will all be represented under the NWSL Players Association (NWSLPA).

“The dissolution of the USSF-sponsored NWSL allocation system means that going forward, USWNT players will have no restrictions as to which league they play association football in,” the USWNT Players Association said in a statement. “Players who choose to join the NWSL sign directly with the NWSL/an NWSL club and are employed by the NWSL and thus become members of the NWSLPA.”

USWNT players used to be represented only by their USWNT union and could not push for change through the NWSL union formed in 2017. This has become a glaring concern in recent months amid the league’s coaching scandals.

The NWSLPA is currently negotiating its first CBA with the NWSL. The league will expand to 12 teams in its 10th season, beginning early next year with the addition of San Diego Wave and Angel City FC (Los Angeles). The expansion draft is scheduled for Thursday and the annual draft for Saturday.

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