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More than 250 women have played on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, and most contributed to the battle for equal pay. This narrative nonfiction book by the award-winning author and journalist Elizabeth Rusch traces the evolution of that fight, bringing this important rights issue in sports and in our culture to the attention of young readers. Features extensive backmatter.

With the passage of Title IX in 1972, the doors opened for young women to play sports at a higher level. But for the women on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, being able to compete at an international level didn’t mean fair treatment and fair compensation.

From economy-class airplane seats and inadequate lodging to minimal marketing and slashed wages, the women representing the United States at the Olympics, the World Cup, and other tournaments had reason to be fed up. They were expected to—and did—win, but they weren’t compensated for their talent and dedication. With the help of their union and in collaboration with the men’s team, they secured an equitable contract in 2022 that ultimately benefited both national teams as well as athletes of the future.

Elizabeth Rusch’s A Greater Goal chronicles how members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team fought to receive fair treatment and equal pay despite the intense pushback they received from U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States. With a narrative that includes player profiles and vignettes framed from team member perspectives, A Greater Goal illuminates the work, support, and grit needed to be treated with equality in a world that often undervalues the contributions of women.

Features extensive backmatter, including a, call to action, additional resources, and an index.