A couple of weeks ago, the US women’s national team signed four players to a deal that included four-year contracts, ESPN reported.
ESPN added that the four-player commitment is the first of its kind for a women’s professional league in the country, and that the deal will be open to all women.
The first two players in the three-player class are Allie Long (LSU), a defender, and Lani Grant (Arizona).
Grant played collegiately at the University of Southern California.
ESPN also reported that Long is the US team’s only commitment to an MLS team, while Grant is the only player from the women’s senior national team.
According to ESPN, the players signed their contracts with MLS teams on Monday, a few hours after the signing of the three players.
“The US has always been a great country, but the national team was the first to get it,” ESPN writer Brian Straus said.
In terms of the MLS players, Grant is from Kansas City and Long from New York City, according to the Associated Press.
There are no plans for the US to field a team in the league, although the league is in the early stages.
The deal has attracted attention for being a bit of a surprise, and for being the first for the women in the MLS, which was founded in 2006.
US Soccer, in a statement to ESPN after the deal was announced, said it “continues to build our partnership with MLS to bring the sport of women’s soccer to the US and around the world.”
US soccer has been in the news recently for being one of the only professional leagues that does not offer any player salaries.
MLS teams are paid about $1.2 million a year, but only four players on the US roster are paid that amount.
Former US Soccer player and current ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas, who played for the New York Red Bulls, recently took to Twitter to criticize the lack of financial support for women’s teams.
I don’t think anyone in this country needs to be told this is a major step in women’s progress.
The players who signed are just the tip of the iceberg.
A lot of work still needs to go into this league.
This is the biggest step in the right direction for women.
-Alexi Lalassa (@alexi_lalas) February 27, 2020 The players are expected to make their MLS debuts in 2018.