Megan Rapinoe confident of 'positive outcome' ahead of equal pay case

Megan Rapinoe confident of ‘positive outcome’ as court date for US Women’s National Team’s £52million battle for equal pay edges closer

  • Megan Rapinoe is confident that the fight for equal pay will result positively  
  • The USWNT are arguing for £52m in back pay from the US Soccer Federation 
  • The US Men’s team have also thrown their support behind the women’s team 
  • Balon d’Or winner Rapinoe spoke to Sportsmail ahead of the SheBelieves Cup
  • Team US will face England for the first time since the World Cup semi final  

Megan Rapinoe insists she is confident about securing a ‘positive outcome’ when the USWNT’s well-publicised fight for equal pay goes to court on 5 May.

Naming 28 of its players as plaintiffs, the team filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation in a US District Court in California 12 months ago and they are arguing for almost $67 million (£52 million) in back pay.

‘I don’t know about [it happening] sooner rather than later, but I’m very confident about a positive outcome,’ said Rapinoe, who captained the side to their fourth World Cup title last summer and will be among those who will give testimony when the class-action trial starts.

Megan Rapinoe is confident of a positive outcome in the battle for equal pay in US football

The USWNT are claiming for £52m back pay from the US Soccer Federation at court in May  

The 34-year-old goal-scoring midfielder added that she was encouraged by the ‘solidarity’ shown by their male counterparts in a recent statement. The United States National Soccer Team Players Association, the union for the men’s team, backed their accusations of gender discrimination ‘against the women in their wages and working conditions.’

In response, she said: ‘It was much appreciated, because they’ve obviously been a little light on statements. But you need to be educated if you weigh in, so it seems like they took time to make the statement that they wanted.

‘I’ve been saying for a long time that we need to stand together. They probably deserve more money too – and they said that [in their statement]. If we’re being underpaid it’s likely they are being underpaid as well. It was a nice show of support and I look forward to more solidarity between the two teams.’

Rapinoe says the team are grateful for the support given by their male counterparts

Rapinoe will lead the USA out against England in the SheBelieves Cup opener in Orlando on Thursday night, eight months after denying Phil Neville’s side a place in their first ever World Cup final.

The FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or winner admitted the intensifying rivalry between the two sides is ‘huge’.

‘We have the number one on our back and the big target, and we understand that every team is gunning for us,’ Rapinoe told Sportsmail. ‘But we know who our [main] rivals are, we know who our toughest rivals are. Obviously the World Cup semi-final was a very close game. I think it was decided by a long toe nail and an exceptional save by Alyssa [Naeher].’

But dealing with a greater level of fame after becoming a household name around the world has, by her own admission, been somewhat of a challenge.

The USWNT face England on Thursday for the first time since the World Cup semi final

‘My life changed dramatically,’ said Rapinoe. ‘It’s not in a completely different way, there are just ten times more of everything.

‘I don’t have too many photographers following me around, but the demands on my time are much more and that is something that I initially struggled with.’

Rapinoe, who will continue to ply her trade with Reign FC when the NWSL season begins next month, has earned made 165 senior appearances for the USA, scoring 51 goals since making her debut in 2006. But she has now dropped the biggest hint yet that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could be her swansong.

‘First and foremost, I want to remain a footballer, most definitely. I’m not looking to retire any time soon. I’m fully focused on the Olympics and making sure I’m prepared. After that, we will assess things and see where we go from there.’


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