'Truly historic moment': US Soccer reaches equal pay agreement for men's, women's teams

CHICAGO (WLS) -- U.S. Soccer reached an "historic" agreement that is said will achieve equal pay for the men's and women's teams.

There will be identical compensation for all competitions, including the FIFA World Cup.

Chicago Red Stars defender Tierna Davidson is fierce on the field.

Despite being sidelined with an injury, Davidson is defending women soccer players' rights.

"Definitely a lot of pride and excitement," Davidson said.

Davidson is a member of the U.S. Women's National Team and was on the Collective Bargaining Committee that helped negotiate agreements pooling World Cup prize money for the women's and men's teams, as well as equalizing benefits.

The agreement was announced out of the Federation's Chicago headquarters.

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U.S. Soccer said it will be the first federation in the world to equalize the World Cup prize money.

"This is a truly historic moment. These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world," said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. "U.S. Soccer and the USWNT and USMNT players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States."

"It's not just sports, it's not just soccer. That's what's exciting to me, that it can set a precedent for women to get what they deserve in other industries," Davidson said.

"This was a really public fight. There are fans in the stadiums at World Cup games chanting 'Equal pay.' The average woman does not have that kind of voice and that kind of power," said Corinne Kodama, policy analyst with Women Employed, which advocates for pay equity.

RELATED: U.S. women's team files wage-discrimination action vs. U.S. Soccer

The U.S. Bureau of Labor reported women on average make 83 cents to every dollar a man makes. That gap is even wider for women of color.

"I am grateful for the commitment and collaboration of both the men's and women's National Teams and I am incredibly proud of the hard work that has led to this moment. Everyone who cares about our sport should share in this pride as we look forward to working together to grow soccer for generations to come," Cone added.

The two CBAs will run through 2028.

"I hope that a younger generation sees this and remembers this, and takes this with them to whatever industries or jobs or equality fights they need to deal with in the future," Kodama said.

"I hope young children who are watching us will feel inspired and fight in their own way when they grow up," Davidson added.

Davidson hopes kids and adults see the power of teamwork on and off the pitch.
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