How the 1999 World Cup champions’ biggest win came at the bargaining table

A staredown between the US women’s national team and US Soccer over the 1999 squad’s victory tour changed the relationship between the team and their “boss” forever

On the morning after the national team won the 1999 World Cup, the celebrations continued. While the players were off to do a victory parade at Disneyland, officials from the US Soccer Federation opened the sports pages of local newspapers, eager to see the coverage of the victory.

The Los Angeles Times used the headline “America the Bootiful” alongside a large photo of Briana Scurry’s penalty-kick save. Some of the US Soccer brass probably cracked a smile at the pun. But when they turned to page 5, they saw a different headline—one that would touch off a bitter dispute and mark a permanent change in the relationship between the players and their boss, the federation. It was on a full-page advertisement for an indoor victory tour the national team players had scheduled for that fall.

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