United States forward Alex Morgan says a “monumental step forward” has been taken after the women’s national team (USWNT) reached agreement with governing body US Soccer on equal pay.
The players will receive $24m (£17.7m) and US Soccer has pledged equal pay for the men’s and women’s teams across all competitions, including the World Cup.
All 28 squad members filed a discrimination lawsuit in March 2019.
“It is an incredible day,” Morgan told Good Morning America.
The two-time World Cup winner added: “This is just such a monumental step forward in feeling valued, feeling respected and just mending our relationship with US Soccer that’s really been full of tension.
“It’s great to take that step forward. I not only see this as a win for our team or women in sport but for women in general.”
USA team-mate Megan Rapinoe said: “I think we’re going to look back on this day and say this is the moment that US Soccer changed for the better.
“Something like this is never going to happen again and we can move forward in making soccer the best sport we possibly can in this country and setting up the next generation so much better than we ever had it.”
The United States won the Women’s World Cup for the fourth time in 2019 and have claimed Olympic gold five times.
Five senior members of the USA’s World Cup-winning team, including Morgan and Rapinoe, initially filed a complaint against the national federation for wage discrimination in 2016.
The bid for equal pay – in which they sought $66m (£52.8m) in damages – was dismissed by a court in May 2020, leading to an appeal.
The US Soccer Federation offered identical contracts to its men’s and women’s national teams in an attempt to resolve its gender pay dispute in September.
In a joint statement on Tueday, US Soccer and USWNT said: “We are pleased to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, we will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in soccer.”
It added: “Getting to this day has not been easy. The USWNT players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes.
“Today, we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow.”