From talking to people on both sides, there’s a big sense of relief in the wake of Wednesday’s announcement of a new five-year CBA between U.S. Soccer and the U.S. women’s players. After 23 in-person negotiation days and three days of calls in 2017 alone, the U.S. players can get back to focusing entirely on what happens on the field, beginning with Thursday and Sunday friendlies against Russia in Texas.
While there are plenty of layers of details to the agreement, both sides wound up happy with certain aspects of the deal.
From the players’ side, they think it’s significant that they have the ability to control group likeness rights for licensing. From the federation’s side, they saw it as a big win that they were able to reduce the minimum number of players under contract from 24 under the previous agreement. There were 22 "federation players"players whose salaries are subsidized by the NWSLin the league's announcement Thursday, and there will be even fewer in future years.
Also interesting to glean from conversations is that Becky Sauerbrunn is now viewed as the de facto captain inside the team, due largely to her leadership role in labor talks. Carli Lloyd, the nominal captain, had reduced her role in labor talks after the players fired executive director Rich Nichols, whom Lloyd had supported.
Christen Press’s leadership role inside the team has also increased due to her role in the negotiations.