This team has been kicking butt for a long time. Are they underappreciated? Are they underpaid?  Let’s dive right into it and it’s time to throw some palm tree shade.

Let’s review. 

Who is going to stop them? 

Listen, this is a juggernaut. They are currently the number one team in the entire world, according to the latest FIFA rankings. They are the reigning and defending World Cup champions. They have three total, hence why they have three stars above their badge. They are currently in the midst of a 15 match win streak. This hot streak has occurred under their manager, Jill Ellis, who has been leading these women since 2015. 

This team has plenty of star power and they are not shy about the headlines and commercials. I am sure you have seen the campaigns and the tweets by now. One of the captains of the team, Megan Rapinoe, has protested the National Anthem on several occasions, who despite many people’s feelings have gotten hurt over our President’s attention through Twitter – she still delivers. Carli Lloyd is one of the most deadly strikers in history and considered by many as the MVP. She fired back at the critics after they trounced Thailand 13-0 with a simple golf clap. Alex Morgan, who also scored five goals against Thailand, equaled the world record in a single game making herself unstoppable. Megan scored the crucial penalty kick goals, which delivered a defensive and physical victory against Spain in the shroud of controversy. 

The team also defeated Chile and Sweden en-route to the semifinals. The semifinal and quarterfinal games presented their tough challenges with multiple top 10 teams in the mix. They took on the host team France and got the job done. They defeated England in the semis which brought the U.S. Women’s team back to the finals versus the Netherlands. With the pressure on, Megan Rapinoe tucked in a beauty of a penalty, which gave them the lead. Then, Rose Lavelle fired the shot heard around the world which gave the team a 2-0 lead. These goals would prove to be decisive and the U.S. Women’s team are now back to back champions. These four women are the main powerhouse of the team, but the roster is deep with Tobin Heath, Christin Press, Mallory Pug and Crystal Dunn. Their depth was the key to success this time. The pressure is on them and they came through, but they delivered some shade as well.

The argument for equal pay

Whether it’s the tea celebration or any goal celebration at all, they will remind you of who they are. There is a current lawsuit underway against the U.S. Soccer Federation in regards to being “underpaid and gender discrimination.” Their main demand is equal pay. Their paychecks are currently lower than the U.S. Men’s Soccer team, who have never won a World Cup or an Olympic Gold Medal and their current ranking is the 30th best team in the world. This may be looked upon as either the men have been underperforming or have been outperformed by the ladies. The U.S. Men’s team received $9 million just by reaching the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup, while the women only received $2 million in the 2015 World Cup. The U.S. Men’s team just reached the finals in the Gold Cup, facing Mexico. Will they have more viewers than the U.S. Women’s did today? Reminder: it is the World Cup. The biggest stage in soccer. I bet the entire world is watching this one.

This lawsuit has been in existence since 2016 where their star players like Hope Solo, Becky Sauerbrunn, Lloyd, Morgan and Rapinoe have led the charge in their fight for their rights to equal pay. In 2017, the team received a $100,000 increase in their annual raise. But, this collective bargaining agreement that they agreed to still doesn’t guarantee equal pay with their male counterparts. They filed another lawsuit on March 28 where all women’s soccer players were involved as one united voice. 

To some, this may seem like a distraction from their greatness. You will be shocked to know that almost a billion people worldwide have already tuned in to watch the women play, which is on a world record pace. This will answer the questions about viewership. They are winning and selling tickets.

As someone told me recently, their fight for equal pay will transcend into another generation of young ladies who want to play soccer. They are fighting for the future of their sport. The U.S. Women’s soccer team are now on the clock because no other sport is on except for the start of the WNBA and the start of the Major League Baseball season. 

Here’s why women are paid less

The men’s soccer games draw more money and more advertising.  The domestic soccer league in Europe dominates in the regular season. They have more money invested. They have bigger sponsors – most of the teams have major airlines and brands on their uniforms like Rakuten, Fly Emirates and Etihad Airlines. These brands have a large pool of money in which audiences overseas consistently use their brands. 

In the U.S., our domestic league, Major League Soccer is young. The salaries might reach a million for a top player that is considered no longer competitive in Europe. A top decent player in Europe could average $20 million a year. Let’s not even speculate Messi or Ronaldo’s salary. The women’s domestic league in the states is the National Women’s Soccer League, and l bet most have not watched a game or even bought a jersey. It is only six years old with nine teams.

The women’s team just got a broadcasting deal with ESPN. Previously, you could watch them on A&E and on Yahoo Sports. So, is it the Soccer Federations’ fault that the women are not getting paid or is it the domestic league’s fault for the women not getting more wages? More sponsors should invest in the domestic leagues besides Nike. People only tune in when it is the Olympics or the World Cup in which the U.S. Women’s team will be expected to win regardless because it is the standard.

The Women’s Soccer team won another World Cup, but can this team win their lawsuit as well?

Written ByJeremy Maddox

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