US women's national team backs Canadian players in pay dispute with Canada Soccer

Feb 16 2023, 4:03 pm

The 2023 SheBelieves Cup kicks off today with a marquee matchup featuring Canada vs US Soccer at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

The main focus between the two arch-rivals has taken a shift away from the pitch as Canada fights to avoid fundamental budget cuts, having publicly called out the leadership of the country’s national soccer federation last week.

The Canadian Soccer Players Association has received support from the US team as they share advice through their own experiences and battle for equal pay from the US Soccer federation.

Canada has a relatable ally that has been through the same journey they’re on, with the Americans having undergone a high-profile pay dispute that was settled in court last May.

“We love our battle on the field,” Quinn told the Daily Hive in Orlando. “They’ve also been in this fight as well and we all know that at times it’s bigger than when we step on the pitch. I know Sinc [Christine Sinclair] and Janine [Beckie] have been in talks with Becky [Sauerbrunn]. I’ve been in talks with Pinoe [Megan Rapinoe]. They’ve offered a lot of support and advice for us because their battle was no different than ours in some senses. It’s been a big support for us.”

Whether it’s the amount of training camp days, the number of players and staff that can be brought in, or flying in business class, the women’s team wants to be treated the same way as the men’s national team was treated when they were preparing for the 2022 World Cup.

That’s not happening right now and that’s why Canada will be playing under protest when they play the US on Thursday, Brazil on Sunday in Nashville, and Japan next Wednesday in Frisco, Texas.

There was a glimpse of what that protest will be going forward when Canada took to the pitch for their training session on Wednesday, as the team had their training tops turned inside-out. 

While they will not be able to play with their matchday kits worn inside-out, Canada could have something else planned for the 14,500 spectators that are expected on Thursday. 

There is solidarity and camaraderie between both Canada and the US. They’ve grown up playing against each other for decades, some of them share the same club team, and they’ve all at some point faced adversity as women trying to earn athletic respect and recognition. 

“My words to them, we’re with you one hundred percent,” Rapinoe said. “It’s weird because I feel like in women’s sports just generally and globally across all different sports, we obviously compete against each other but we’re all on the same team trying to strive for the same thing and unfortunately having to fight for the same things.”

The US holds a commanding 52-4-7 record against Canada, but that will be in the shadows as Canada looks to stand up for what they believe is unjust treatment from a Canadian Soccer Association that has yet to pay them for the 17 matches played in 2022.

The reigning 2021 Olympic champions aren’t asking for the moon; they want to have the same resources, access, and support that the men’s national team has. 

That includes having a home sendoff match in Canada during the FIFA window in April, ahead of the Women’s World Cup this summer.

Canada played three matches at home in 2022 but hasn’t played at home since June 26 in Toronto.

If the Canadian Soccer Players Association do not feel that their demands have been properly addressed by the Canadian Soccer Association, they will not play or participate in any activities during the April window. 

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