Alex Morgan: USA team liberated after winning equal pay battle

The US team, led by its high-profile names like Morgan, filed a complaint against the US Soccer Federation alleging wage discrimination, which culminated in a landmark collective-bargaining deal in May 2022.

Published : Jul 25, 2023 14:40 IST , AUCKLAND - 3 MINS READ

Alex Morgan speaks during a press conference before the Netherlands game.
Alex Morgan speaks during a press conference before the Netherlands game. | Photo Credit: AFP

Alex Morgan speaks during a press conference before the Netherlands game. | Photo Credit: AFP

Alex Morgan said Tuesday the United States team felt liberated after winning its fight for equal pay and can now focus on pursuing an unprecedented third straight Women’s World Cup crown.

One of the best-known players in women’s football, the 34-year-old hopes that other national teams will also eventually win their own battles for pay parity.

“Any time you take your focus off playing and what your job is, that is distraction that is unnecessary,” the forward told reporters in Auckland.

“So not having distractions like having to fight for equal pay and working conditions moving forward, at all, ever again, it feels really good.

READ | Putellas ready for Spain’s second outing against Zambia

“I hope that will soon be the case for all of the players around the world at international level.”

The US team, led by its high-profile names like Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, filed a complaint several years ago against the US Soccer Federation alleging wage discrimination.

Their fight eventually led to a landmark collective-bargaining deal that was announced in May 2022 and meant the US men’s and women’s teams would evenly share World Cup prize money.

Prize money from FIFA is not the same for the Women’s World Cup as for the men’s.

The total prize pot for this year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand is $152 million, which is triple the figure from four years ago.

The figure for the men’s tournament in Qatar last year was $440 million, with the United States men’s team pocketing $13 million for reaching the last 16.

Numerous other women’s national teams are fighting for the same conditions, with the Canadians threatening to go on strike earlier this year in a row over pay, funding and contractual issues.


The US team’s triumphant campaign at the World Cup in France in 2019 was played out with that off-field battle looming over them.

Chants of “Equal Pay” rang out from the stands after they beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the final.

“Where we were in 2019 to where we are now is almost the same but also couldn’t be more different,” said Morgan as she and her team prepare to face the Dutch again on Thursday.

“We were fighting a legal battle off the field and trying to also win over the world’s hearts and minds and prove ourselves.

“This time around we don’t have to worry about anything off the field. That feels really good and we have to do the work each time we step on the field.

READ | Usme, Caicedo score to lift Colombia 2-0 over South Korea

“US Soccer has done a great job in supporting us and that is not the case with a lot of other federations around the world.”

Morgan, appearing at her fourth World Cup, had a penalty saved as the USA began its campaign in New Zealand with a 3-0 win over Vietnam on Saturday.

The Netherlands beat Portugal 1-0 in its first outing in Group E, setting up the rerun of the 2019 final nicely.

“We watched the Netherlands the other night and they have a lot of the same players as when we played them four years ago,” Morgan added.

“They have a little bit of a different formation but still the same personnel and that is important for team chemistry, so we know we have to be at our best.

“This is going to be a very big match-up.”

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment