Walker Zimmerman has explained the lengthy negotiation process behind the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) that saw the United States Men’s and Women’s National Teams receive equal pay.

In a first-of-its-kind agreement in world soccer, players from each team will be paid identical game bonuses and appearance fees, as well as sharing the sum of prize money from their respective World Cup runs.

Reaching this point wasn’t simple, though. From a change in leadership on the men’s side to the women’s team still working under an existing CBA, there were plenty of hurdles for both sides to overcome.

Zimmerman was among the leaders from the USMNT who helped get negotiations over the line and a new deal signed. Speaking exclusively to former USWNT defender Yael Averbuch West on 90min‘s Football Americana podcast, the Nashville SC center-back has talked through some of the hurdles that needed to be cleared along the way.

“I think what’s made it so interesting has been just kind of the turnover and the timing of our expired CBA,” Zimmerman said. “Again, for those who are not listening, our CBA was up at the end of 2018. As of January 1st, 2019, we were playing on an expired CBA while the women were still supposed to be under theirs, which I think has always made it a little bit difficult to negotiate for US Soccer, because in order to have equal pay, it was very difficult for them with the timing of when those deals started and ended.

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