A Look at Women’s Soccer

img_6177_original-croppedOn July 5, the American Women’s Soccer team blew fans away by defeating Japan in a 5-2 win, leading them to become the first team to win the Women’s World Cup three times.  Carli Lloyd secured a hatrick by the 16th minute of the game, astounding viewers.

The United State’s last win was in 1999 before a record turnout of nearly 100,000 people.  The 2015 tournament shattered attendance records, and the fans that turned out were certainly not disappointed.  The United States team received $2 million from FIFA for their win.

When the German men’s soccer team won the World Cup in Brazil last year, FIFA gave them $35 million.

FIFA Secretary General Valcke blames the payment discrepancies on the new nature of the WWC.  Last year was the 20th men’s World Cup, and it was only the 7th women’s.  Does this mean that women should have to wait another 13 world cups to be paid what men received last year?

Women’s soccer is rapidly growing all over the world, and it is especially popular in the United States.  The Craig Club Girls Soccer League, which consisted of four teams, was the first organized women’s soccer league in the US.  Since then, America has become known as a force to be reckoned with in women’s soccer.  Young girls are encouraged to join soccer teams—at my high school in New Jersey, for example, soccer is the most popular sport among girls, with over 90 students trying out last year.

Women’s soccer is no less interesting to watch than men’s—the 1999 WWC finals ended in a penalty shootout, and American player Chastain’s last shot determined the outcome of the game.  The women train hard, and they deliver.  Unfortunately, they only earn a fraction of what men earn.

Nevertheless, there are many American female soccer stars that are starting to earn salaries that are getting slightly closer to those of men.  American striker Alex Morgan has many sponsors, including Nike, Mueller Sports Medicine, AT&T, GNC, Bank of America, Panasonic, Coca-Cola, GE, and Stop & Shop.  Many companies are embracing the entry and advancement of women in the world of sports, and many female athletes are becoming household names.  Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, and Julie Johnston, for example, are quickly growing in fame, and with their popularity grows the popularity of women’s soccer.

Women’s sports have not nearly received as much attention as men’s.  But the viewership is growing, as is participation in the sport, and hopefully, equality in payment and recognition will grow as well.

 

 

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