CHICAGO (January 4, 2006) — U.S. Soccer announced today in conjunction with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players’ Association (USWNSTPA) that the sides have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement through 2012. The agreement carries through the next two FIFA Women’s World Cups and the next two Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournaments.
Statement from U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia:
“This is a groundbreaking contract for U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Player’s Association and allows these athletes to work professionally as elite soccer players in the United States while focusing on earning results on the field. With this long-term agreement running through the year 2012, we are confident that our Women’s National Team program will maintain its position as the best in the world. U.S. Soccer has been a leader and an innovator in the world of women’s athletics through the years and will continue to be so as the team takes the field with the goal of recapturing the Women’s World Cup in 2007. This contract is a positive first step in continuing to integrate the Women’s National Team with the efforts to re-launch a women’s professional soccer league, which remains a focus for everyone involved in women’s soccer.”
Statement from U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Player’s Association Attorney John Langel:
“Through the years, the U.S. Women’s National Team has built a wonderful legacy for the sport of soccer and for women’s athletics in the United States, and this contract will allow them to add to that legacy as they continue to compete for Olympic championships and Women’s World Cup titles.”
Statement from U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Captain Kristine Lilly:
“It is wonderful to have the contract signed and behind us. This is an important year for the team as we begin focusing first on qualifying for the next Women’s World Cup and then winning a world championship in China in 2007. Our focus and goals have always been to be the best and that means winning world championships. We know that staying on top of the world is important in continuing to strengthen and grow women’s sports in the United States, which is part of our mission.”
The U.S. WNT began training on January 3 with 28 players at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in preparation for the Four Nations Tournament in China that begins on Jan. 18 with a match against Norway. The team departs for China on Jan. 10, and will also face France (Jan. 20) and China (Jan. 22) in the annual tournament. The USA’s opener against Norway could mark a historic milestone for U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, as she is poised to earn her 300th cap. Already the world’s leader in international matches played for men or women with 299 caps, Lilly would become the first player in soccer history to play 300 times for their country.
Following the Four Nations Tournament in China, the U.S. will compete in the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal in March. The team will then enter an extended residency training camp in Carson, Calif., beginning in April, before playing a slate of domestic matches in the United States starting in July.
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