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U.S. Soccer Becomes First in the Sport to Equalize Pay for Men and Women

A landmark agreement makes the U.S. the first in the sport to truly equalize pay for men and women.

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The United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the United States Women's National Team Players Association (USWNTPA) and the United States National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA) have come to an agreement of historic magnitude: equalizing pay for men and women's teams — including a split of the World Cup prize money.

The agreement is a victory that comes after a decades long fight by the USWNT for equal compensation and recognition.

Related: U.S. Women's Soccer Settles Equal-Pay Lawsuit: A Timeline

"For me, I feel very humbled to join this fight that has been going on years before I even touched a ball. Before I was born, actually," said Midge Purce, a member of the USWNT's bargaining committee, per USA TODAY Sports.

The split of the World Cup prize money is in part the most monumental part of the deal, as it has historically been a point of contention for the USWNT. Regardless of performance or success, the disparity of FIFA prize money would always leave the USWNT with a significantly smaller sum.

The new deal will put 90% of winnings in a pool that will be split by both the men and women's teams.

Not only does the new agreement promise matching pay and prize money split, but it is also the first in the sport to reach this level of equalization, setting an example and standard for others to follow.

"This is a truly historic moment," said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone in a statement on Wednesday. "These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world."

Related: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From the Victorious U.S. Women's Soccer Team, and a Lot of Other Women Athletes

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