Andy Scholes walks through US Soccer’s landmark equal pay deal in his office in May.
The U.S. Soccer Federation’s Equal Pay Project is just about done, officially bringing the sport of soccer in the United States past one of the darkest chapters in its history.
Last week, U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Team announced an Equal Pay Agreement that sets the first-ever pay equity policy for professional soccer clubs in the United States. It will be used as an example for the development of equal pay rules for all professional sports with the United States Tennis Association. It’s expected to be in place by 2022 for all sports with the exception of women’s soccer, which begins in 2024, along with a number of other sports beginning in 2026.
This new policy and accompanying guidelines will have a big impact on the way clubs are rewarded and treated. The only issue U.S. Soccer has yet to address, which is the biggest hurdle to its implementation, is the issue of potential pay discrimination among league and team owners.
“As far as we’re concerned, U.S. Soccer is the world’s most enlightened organization in terms of addressing human rights issues,” said Andy Scholes, the U.S. Women’s National Team’s General Manager, in a statement. “And we look forward to helping the sport of soccer reach for even greater parity, particularly at the women’s professional level.”
“We are pleased to have achieved the progress we have achieved,” said U.S. Soccer Executive Vice President and Executive Director Dan Flynn. “We have provided new tools and resources to address the issues in this area and we look forward to working with the USWNT to improve the playing field for women in football and the other professional sports.”
The Equal Pay Agreement, signed on the sidelines of the 2026 World Cup qualifying tournament in Germany, set in motion a series of changes for the U.S. women’s soccer program. It included a number of other reforms that will further strengthen the women’s team.
The biggest issue facing the women’s soccer program has been the salary gap between the top players and the rest of the team.