Amid a raging debate about how female soccer players are compensated, one of the members of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USMNT) said the squad was determined to “walk the walk” in its effort to win the World Cup.
On Sunday, the USWNT became the second team in history to win back-to-back World Cups.
With scrutiny rising over how the women’s squad is compensated when compared to their male counterparts, U.S. National Team player Julie Ertz told Yahoo Finance in an interview that “If you’re going to talk the talk, you kind of have to walk the walk.”
The professional soccer player and author of Chase Your Dreams told YFi PM that the USWNT was “so competitive, and we want to win every single game on top of that.”
She added: “But you know we also want to represent our country so well, and be able to inspire young girls to be able to set the stage for them to be able to be better and better each year.”
On Wednesday, the women’s team was celebrated with a victory parade in New York City.
Ertz, who is married to Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, told Yahoo Finance the actual win was “surreal,” while congratulating the teams they faced. “It was such an amazing tournament. We had some really tough games, tough competition.”
The win in France brings the USWMT to a total of four World Cup titles. Their male counterparts have never won the top honors, with their 2002 quarterfinals finish being their best in recent history.
The final match between the USWNT and The Netherlands brought in 14.3 million American viewers, surpassing American viewership for the men’s final in 2018, which was 11.3 million, according to Nielsen’s preliminary numbers.
“The support from the fans has been amazing, both on the field and off the field. Our team collectively, we want to continue to grow the sport, and that’s both, that’s on and off the field,” said Ertz.
Beyond the sport
In the middle of the equal pay debate, Ertz insisted the team talks “about everything”, but they all are focused on “how we can continue to push women’s sports in general, and kind of leave it a better place.”
She added: “It’s been a huge movement and an honor to be a part of.”
McKenzie DeGroot is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @degrootmckenzie