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Hope Solo Says USWNT Settlement Is ‘Not a Huge Win’

Not every current and former USWNT star is happy with Tuesday‘s news that the team reached a $24 million settlement with U.S. Soccer. Former goalkeeper Hope Solo took to Instagram to reject the idea that the settlement is a “huge win,” while taking shots at U.S. stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.

Solo posted a key part of the announcement to Instagram, highlighting that the settlement is “contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement.” 

“This settlement is not a ‘huge win.’ It's heartbreaking and infuriating. A ‘promise’ of equal pay from the Federation and backpay for a select group of players isn't equal pay and it's not what this fight was about,” Solo said.

“Read the fine print. ‘Contingent upon the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement.’ It doesn't exist yet and is not guaranteed. If the players had ever been successful in negotiating an equal CBA, there would've been no reason to sue the Federation in the first place.”

Solo is one of five USWNT stars, along with Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn, who filed on a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. She later opted to file a California-based equal pay lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, which is still ongoing. She says that she will continue fighting that case, in light of a settlement that she believes is lacking.

“Throughout the entire process, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan were the two most agreeable with the Federation and to this day, continue to to accept terms that are nowhere near what we set out to do,” Solo continued on Instagram. “They both know this is not a win. They know it's an easy out of a fight they were never really in.

“The players who got us to where we are today are people like Christie Rampone who stepped up to interview with the EEOC. She and I were the only two players to do so. Players like Christie, Abby Wambach, Shannon Boxx, Heather 'Reilly, Amy Rodriguez, Sydney Leroux, Lauren Cheney, Lori Chalupny and everyone else on the 2015 team who set this fight in motion will not benefit from the selfishness and inequality of this settlement. It also guarantees nothing to the next generation of players. The equal pay case against US Soccer I filed on behalf of the Team long before the Team sued, still stands and I remain committed to fighting for all players — past, present and future.”

Based on Tuesday’s agreement, $22 million will be paid to current and former players involved in the case, with another $2 million set for an account that will benefit USWNT players in their pursuits for after their playing careers, as well as other women's soccer charitable efforts. Players will be able to apply for up to $50,000 from that fund.

In 2020, Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann wrote that a joint request filed by Solo and U.S. Soccer “noted that Solo intends to coordinate discussions of her Equal Pay Claim with the players and that the outcome of the players’ summary judgment motion ‘will likely have an impact on [Solo's] claims.’”

McCann said that Judge James Donato, overseeing Solo's case in California, is not “automatically bound,” by rulings in the other case. 

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