PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With members of Congress present, the U.S. women and men’s national soccer teams signed new collective bargaining agreements with the U.S. Soccer Federation on Tuesday, which gives equal pay for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

The agreement, signed following the USWNT’s win over Nigeria in Washington D.C., was championed by former University of Portland Pilot turned soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe and fellow USWNT teammate Rose Lavelle, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said.

“Tonight is truly a historic occasion,” Cantwell said. “An agreement is going to be signed that basically puts in equal pay for our female athletes because a group of women athletes, at the pinnacle of their success, had the audacity to say ‘we deserve equal pay for our success.’ I have to say a special thanks to Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle who signed the original petition to make this case a reality.”

Megan Rapinoe USWNT Forward (left), shakes hands with Senator Cantwell.

The terms of the agreements provide identical pay between the U.S. women’s and men’s teams, including equal commercial revenue shares and an equal cut of World Cup prize money, ESPN reports. The USWNT is the reigning champion entering the 2023 World Cup, and has won the international tournament 1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019.

U.S. Soccer called the agreements a “first-of-their-kind” and said that deal sets a new global standard for international soccer.

“A large portion of the crowd of 18,869 stayed to watch the signing ceremony,” U.S. Soccer said.
The USWNT’s fight for equal pay has also inspired the Equal Pay for Team USA Act,  Cantwell said. If passed, the bill would require equal pay and benefits for all athletes representing Team USA in global sports competitions like the Olympics.