USA open SheBelieves Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over Canada as teams come together in a show of solidarity over equal pay – after Canada players went on STRIKE ahead of tournament
Mallory Swanson scored a pair of first-half goals and the United States beat Canada 2-0 Thursday night in a SheBelieves Cup match clouded by a labor dispute between the Canadian players and their federation.
The Canadian women wore purple shirts during the pregame national anthems that read ‘Enough Is Enough.’ Before kickoff, U.S. players linked arms with their Canadian counterparts in the center circle in a show of solidarity.
Canada’s women are negotiating for a new collective bargaining agreement that would give them equal pay with their male counterparts. They say they haven´t yet been paid for 2022.
‘Purple has historically been associated with efforts to achieve gender equality,’ the Canadian Players Association said in a statement Thursday. ‘Considering the current circumstances, our players will continue to wear purple until our association has standards in place that ensure equal treatment and opportunity.’
The players initially said they planned to boycott team activities surrounding the tournament but were told by Canada Soccer that their job action amounted to an illegal strike.
Mallory Swanson wheels away in celebration after scoring her second goal against Canada
Swanson (center) has now scored in each of her last four games and is in fine form
The players joined together before the game to show solidarity for Canada’s labor dispute
In the earlier SheBelieves Cup match on Thursday at Exploria Stadium, Brazil beat Japan 1-0 on Debinha’s late goal off a cross from Marta, who was playing her first match since tearing her left ACL last March.
The four-team round-robin SheBelieves Cup moves to Nashville, Tennessee, on Sunday. All four teams have qualified for the World Cup.
Swanson scored her fourth goal of the new year in the seventh minute. She added a second in the 34th.
Formerly Mallory Pugh, Swanson married Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson in December. She’s scored 30 goals for the United States and has scored in each of the last four matches.
Fans in the crowd held up banners in support of the Canadian team, who were on strike
The Canada team wore purple tshirts carrying the message ‘ENOUGH’ before the game
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher stopped Janine Beckie’s attempt for Canada in first-half stoppage time.
The U.S. players used the occasion to draw attention to LGBTQ rights in Florida, some wearing wristbands that said ‘Defend Trans Joy’ along with purple wristbands in support of Canada’s players.
Alex Morgan was honored before the match for her 200th appearance for the national team, which occurred late last year against Germany.