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U.S. Soccer Awards Historic Contract to U.S. Women


CHICAGO (Tuesday, February 1, 2000) - The U.S. Soccer Federation unveiled an historic new labor contract for members of the U.S. Women's National Team today at a press conference at the Official All Star Cafe in New York City. The contract agreement paves the way for the U.S. Women's National Team's return to action this Sunday (Feb. 6) at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where the team will battle 1995 Women's World Cup champion Norway live on ESPN at 2 p.m ET.

"This is a historic agreement that continues to establish U.S. Soccer as a leader in the fight for gender equity in the world of athletics," said U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia. "Across the last 15 years, U.S. Soccer has set revolutionary standards in providing our women's teams with full-time pay, residency camps, paid maternity leave and child care. With this agreement we have raised the level again by continuing to assure fair compensation between our women's and men's program, especially after everything this team has accomplished. The deal is based on not only equity, but performance and success on the field, so that the team can continue to 'win forever'."

In addition to continuing to make the U.S. Women's National Team the highest paid women's soccer team in the world, the historic new partnership also guarantees continued payroll parity with the U.S. Men's National Team. That includes paying the women $2,000 per appearance (which is identical to the men's fee) and balancing the U.S. Women's expected bonus compensation with that of the U.S. Men for appearances in major tournaments and victories against top opponents.

The agreement also includes a protective clause for the U.S. Women stating that if the Men's National Team ever receives compensation equal to a higher percentage of its gross revenues than the Women's National Team receives of its gross revenues, then the U.S. Women will receive a lump sum bonus to equalize the compensation ratios.

U.S. Soccer is extremely proud of its track record in promoting gender equity in American sports. The USSF's progressive development of women's soccer across the world enabled each player on the U.S. Women's National Team roster in 1999 to earn in excess of $200,000 last year in salary and bonuses for playing soccer. (That income does not reflect additional money earned for individual player sponsorships.)

Under this agreement, the U.S. Women's National Team's athletes will continue to be the highest paid USA National Governing Body sports team. The deal also makes the members of the U.S. Women's National Team among the highest paid soccer players in America.

The U.S. Soccer Federation is a non-profit organization which, unlike a professional sports organization, recycles all of its earnings back into the development of the sport. U.S. Soccer has invested more than $6.5 million into the U.S. Women's program across the past few years to enable the team to win the 1996 Olympic Women's Soccer Tournament and the 1999 Women's World Cup. The new contract, coupled with U.S. Soccer's women's player development initiative, Project Gold, lays the groundwork to enable the U.S. Women's National Team to "win forever."

As the governing body of soccer in all its forms in the United States, U.S. Soccer relies on over 1 million volunteers to donate their time in the performance of specific duties to promote and grow the sport of soccer. Those ranks of volunteers include U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia, who was elected to the unpaid position in 1998.

In addition to justly rewarding the U.S. Women for their contributions to the growth of the sport, the historic new contract will also protect the future development of U.S. Soccer's 11 different National Teams, while also managing to guarantee compensation for the U.S. Women.

2000 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM SCHEDULE (tentative)
DateOpponent(s)EventSite
Feb. 6NorwayInternational Match (2 p.m. ET / ESPN)Ft. Lauderdale
March 8-19TBDAlgarve Cup (4 matches)Portugal
April 8TBDInternational Match (ESPN2)TBD (U.S.)
May 1-8TBDNike U.S. Women's Cup 2000 (2 matches)TBD (U.S.)
May 26-June 12TBDPacific Cup (5 matches)Australia
June 23-July 4TBDCONCACAF Women's Gold Cup 2000TBD (U.S.)
July 9TBDInternational Match (ESPN2)TBD (U.S.)
July 11-23China, Germany, NorwayDFB 100 Year Tournament (3 matches)Germany
July 24-31TBDForeign Tour to Norway (2 matches)Norway
Aug.-Sept.TBDNike Road to Sydney (4 matches)TBD (U.S.)
Sept. 4-28TBD2000 Olympic Games (5 matches)Australia
Note: The above schedule is tentative (dates, opponents and events subject to confirmation)

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