Non-allocated NWSL players take step toward forming union

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Players from the National Women's Soccer League whose salaries are not paid by a national federation have formed the NWSL Players Association, a first step toward creating a union.

National team players from Canada and the United States are allocated across the NWSL and their salaries are paid by their federations. The newly formed association represents those players who don't have those national team ties.

The non-allocated players overwhelmingly approved a new constitution and bylaws in May, the association said Monday. The group seeks to represent the interests of non-allocated players with the teams and the league office.

''In addition to serving as the voice of the Non-Allocated Player pool, the Association will strive to build a collaborative working relationship with the NWSL Front Office and will work to improve communication among all players,'' the group said in a statement.

The creation of an association comes after the U.S. women's national team came to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement with the U.S. Soccer Federation. That deal, struck in early April, includes salary provisions for the national team players in the league.

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The minimum salary for non-allocated players in the league is $15,000. Many have second jobs, run clinics or coach on the side to make ends meet, and some live with host families.

The 10-team women's professional league is in its fifth season.

''We respect the players' right to organize and form a players association, and look forward to establishing a relationship with their leadership that will serve the league, the players and our fans alike,'' the NWSL said in a statement.

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