Canberra United import Simone Charley hopes USA follows Matildas-Socceroos lead

Canberra United signing Simone Charley hopes the USA follows the FFA's lead of pay parity for the Matildas and Socceroos. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Canberra United signing Simone Charley hopes the USA follows the FFA's lead of pay parity for the Matildas and Socceroos. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Canberra United import Simone Charley says Football Federation Australia's move towards pay parity for the Matildas and Socceroos is an amazing step and she hopes the USA follows suit.

Charley arrived in Canberra three days ago and is still getting over the effects of jetlag, with the Portland Thorns striker having signed with United for the upcoming W-League season.

She was part of the USA's under-23s team that took part in the Nordic Cup two months ago, where she scored her first international goal.

The 24-year-old was excited about the deal, which will see the top-paid Matildas earn the same amount as the Socceroos for their international duties.

It's part of a new three-tier, centralised-contract system for the Matildas the FFA announced on Wednesday.

The USA women's team have been a champion for change in their own country and some of them are suing US Soccer for alleged gender discrimination.

They were also vocal about the prize-money disparity between the men's and women's world cups - $440 million compared with $30 million.

Charley was excited about the FFA's move to not only improve the Matilda's pay, but also their work conditions. They'll now fly business class like the Socceroos and have similar training camps.

"I think that's an amazing step that that's able to happen at the Socceroos and the Matildas," Charley said.

"Those are steps that need to be happening.

"When you put the work in and you work just as hard I think the pay should show that.

"That's something I'm passionate about and I'm glad to see that happening."

Charley puts her pace to the test. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Charley puts her pace to the test. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Canberra coach Heather Garriock convinced Charley to join United, but she was helped by former Canberra defender Ellie Carpenter.

Carpenter played with Charley at the Thorns in the NWSL last season.

Charley also played and trained alongside some of the biggest names in women's soccer and she was hoping to bring some of that knowledge Down Under.

Canada captain Christine Sinclair and USA star Tobin Heath have been massive influences on the young forward, while she's also learnt from Matildas Hayley Raso and Caitlin Foord.

"[I'm] bringing soccer intelligence because I've been able to learn from some of the best players in the world and I think that's something I can bring here," Charley said. "As well as just some athleticism, which is definitely one of my strengths."

That athleticism comes in the form of pace, which will hopefully benefit United when they kick off their W-League season against Perth Glory at McKellar Park on November 17.

Having had a taste for international football, Charley's hungry for more and would love the chance to step up to the USA senior team.

"Of course, that's always the goal. I think that's almost the goal for everyone," she said.

This story Charley hopes USA follows Oz first appeared on The Canberra Times.