Photo via @ussoccer_wnt on Instagram
This past Sunday, the United States Women's National Soccer Team played a match at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, defeating Japan 2-0. The game was played in front of a record number of fans for a Women's National Team game in Ohio — a total of 23,535 were in attendance.
The game was called early due to lightning and thunderstorms after the 76th minute of play.
However, thanks to Julie Johnson's goal in the 27th minute and Alex Morgan's in the 62nd, the US came away with yet another win to add to their 12-0-1 record.
This is the second match and first win the US team has had against Japan since the US triumphed in the Women's World Cup Finals, securing the title by winning 5-2.
Sunday was also the first time the USWNT took the field following a federal judge's Friday ruling that the team does not have the right to strike to seek improved conditions and wages before the Summer Olympics, according to the Associated Press
Earlier this March, five of the team's top players including Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Megan Rapinoe released a statement arguing that they are paid far less for their work than their male counterparts.
With the US Soccer Federation's financial reports as their evidence, the team said that despite earning nearly $20 million more in revenue than the men's team, the women are paid about a quarter of what the men earn.
In reaction to this proposed strike, the US Soccer Federation sued the union representing the USWNT. The Federation, which acts as the national governing body for the sport, was hoping that the court upheld the validity of the collective bargaining agreement which included a no-strike clause.
US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled that the team remains bound by the no-strike provision from the 2005-2012 CBA that now carries through the memorandum until the end of 2016 after a modification that occurred in 2013.
Upon the court's decision, US Soccer issued a brief statement
saying, "We are pleased with the Court's decision and remain committed to negotiating a new CBA to take effect at the beginning of next year."
Both sides will continue to discuss a new labor contract for the following years, and if no agreement is reached by Dec. 31, the players would have a right to give notice of a strike.
"To be clear, the court's ruling today does not negate the fact that US Soccer does not fairly compensate the women's national team, or in any way impact the players' demands for equal pay for equal work," said Richard Nichols, the union's executive director, in a statement to the Associated Press.
Following this decision and their Sunday win, the team now goes forward in pursuit of their fourth consecutive — and fifth overall — Olympic gold medal this summer in Rio.