Updated at 10:44 p.m. ET on July 8, 2019.
There is only one appropriate reward for the U.S. Women’s National Team upon their return home as the winners of back-to-back World Cup championships: equal pay. If the U.S. Soccer Federation wants to win another, it has to stop underpaying its banner team.
The USWNT is set to enter mediation with the federation when they return from France, after bringing a gender-discrimination lawsuit in March. The lawsuit stated that they are paid far less than the men’s team, in some cases earning just 38 percent of pay per game. This team has shown that they won’t back down, on or off the pitch, until they get what they deserve. And with yet another Cup trophy on their shelf, they’ve more than proved that they are worth as much—if not more—as the men’s national team, which failed to even qualify for the World Cup last year.
What’s more, the tough matches the United States had to play to earn this title prove that the days of winning a championship without the federation’s equal investment are numbered. With multiple soccer powerhouses—especially in Europe—finally putting money into their women’s sides, building up domestic leagues and national teams at once, in another four years, the U.S. is going to have an even harder fight to stay on top.