The USWNT players and U.S. Soccer have a new Collective Baragining Agreement. The multi-year standoff between the two is over and now they have a deal that will take them through 2020, but the details are still a bit murky, and some things will take time to become clear.
What are some of the questions still outstanding about the new CBA?
What does equitable pay mean?
The players' fight began with a call for equal pay to the men, however things have changed. Instead, the players now say they want equitable pay, which is not a small difference.
The structures for the men's and women's teams are different, with U.S. Soccer also paying the women's team's club salaries. Because of that, it's nearly impossible to have equal pay and that's why the women's players have said they want equitable pay instead.
Equitable pay got the team a big increase in pay, as well as travel accommodations, per diem and other non-salaried things that are equal to the men. With the goal going forward being equitable pay, instead of equal pay, it will be interesting to see how that impacts the discussion and negotiations in future negotiations.
What do the roster rules do to the USWNT?
The last CBA limited how many non-contract players the USWNT manager was allowed to call into any training camp and how long they could be in camp. According to FourFourTwo, those restrictions will be loosened up some now. That will make it easier for Jill Ellis to expand her player pool and take a look at more players.
We could see a USWNT with more new faces and more competition going forward. Exactly what that does to the team -- presumably makes it better, but how much? -- remains unclear.
Getty ImagesAlex Menendez
Do players have to play in the NWSL?
U.S. Soccer will continue to pay players' salaries when they play in the NWSL, but what about players who don't? They will be in a sepearate category, but exactly how they're paid and what that structure is remains to be seen. The previous CBA had a similar setup and it resulted in huge incentives for players to play in the NWSL, but there is an argument to be made that the USWNT benefits from some players going abroad and playing elsewhere.
Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan are abroad right now, playing for Manchester City and Lyon respectively, but will be back in the NWSL by the summer. Crystal Dunn is signed to Chelsea through 2018, though. Will her national team status be affected?
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY SportsSteven Bisig
Is this a big deal for the NWSL?
In addition to U.S. Soccer continuing to pay the salaries of national team players who play in the NWSL, the federation also said that will demand an increase in standards for the league. Exactly what that means remains to be seen, but it is something that the NWSL desperately needs. That could be a big step up for the league.
U.S. Soccer is also doubling the base salary in the NWSL -- which will still only be about $15,000 -- but most importantly, this indicates a commitment to the NWSL through the 2020 season. The NWSL has already survived longer than any American women's soccer league and by the end of 2020, it will have made it eight years. That's a huge deal and by then, the league should be in even better shape.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
How much will image rights be worth?
The players will now get to keep their image rights for any sponsorships or marketing that U.S. Soccer does not have an exclusive deal in. That gives the players the opportunity to make money off their likeness on the open market, but how much will the players be able to make on that? It's not clear because this is the first time they've had this opportunity, but if it brings in some big money (or not very much) then it will not only change players' lives, it could factor in to any future CBA discussions.
What happens to the EEOC complaint?
The players filed a complaing with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) citing wage discrimingation in March of 2016. The EEOC has yet to rule on the complaint and it's unclear what impact the new CBA would have on that outstanding complaint. It's also unclear what impact an EEOC ruling would have at this point.
A spokesperson for the players association said they were "unable to comment on the EEOC at this time."
What happens in 2020?
This CBA only takes the two sides through 2020. Then, the two sides could either come to an agreement on a new one with ease or they could end up in a bitter fight, as was the case this time around. One of the problems the player had this time around is they lacked leverage because their last CBA expired after the Olympics so they couldn't boycott a major event. That will be the case next time around as well. But the players still got some huge gains this time around and that could help make the next negotiations easier.