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USWNT players file wage discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer

Photo by Michael Chow/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Michael Chow/USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. Women’s National Team has found themselves in a battle with U.S. Soccer in recent months, and that battle continued with another step on Tuesday.

Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo have filed a federal complaint charging U.S. Soccer with wage discrimination. According to their lawyer, Jeffery Kessler, the USWNT are paid far less than their U.S. Men’s National Team counterpart despite serving as an economic force for the federation. The five players have requested an investigation of U.S. Soccer.

Despite only being signed by several players, the five who submitted the complaint state they are acting on behalf of the entire USWNT.

“We have been quite patient over the years with the belief that the federation would do the right thing and compensate us fairly,” Lloyd said in a statement.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Solo added in a statement of her own. “We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships, and the USMNT get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships.”

Citing recent budget figures, Kesller says that USWNT players earn less than 40 percent than members of the USMNT team. In addition, the players say they are shorted on everything from appearance fees and bonuses to per diem allowances.

The USWNT are salaried employees of U.S. Soccer, making up to $72,000 a year from the federation. Even with that income, the USWNT say they make far less than USMNT members who are only paid based on appearances.

A USMNT player reportedly receives $5,000 for a loss in a friendly and as much as $17,625 for a win against a high-level opponent. USWNT members, on the other hand, receive $1,350 for a similar win, while receiving no bonus for losses or ties.

Kessler said that the USWNT’s complaints are the “strongest case of discrimination against women athletes in violation of law that I have ever seen”.

 “The same number of minimum friendlies, the same requirements about participating and making the World Cup teams — identical work,” Kessler said. “But the women have without dispute vastly outperformed the men not just on the playing field but economically for the U.S.S.F. The women have generated all the money in comparison with the men.”

Pay with U.S. Soccer is collectively bargained, meaning that the USWNT had previously agreed to all issues ranging from pay to field conditions, another point of contention in recent months. While the men are paid out more for appearances in international tournaments, the USWNT is hoping for larger stake of domestic revenue, such as sponsorships and television deals.

What do you think of the lawsuit? What do you expect to come out of it? Any concerns heading into this summer’s Olympic games?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. On Outside the Lines yesterday, Julie Foudy questioned how much less they are actually being paid as the WNT members receive a yearly salary and receive a benefits package neither of which the men receive. Additionally, women who play in the NWSL (I think all of them except Krieger) receive their NWSL salary through US Soccer. If you look at USSF tax filings, they are required to list payments to key employees, and during women’s tournament years they women will be the highest paid players it will come out a little less than the men, but that is due to larger payouts to USSF from Fifa because men’s tournaments make more money. Because there are two major women’s tournaments it evens out because of two smaller payments to one large payment.

    The Women’s team is only making more money because with the exception of the WC they rarely play outside the US. Secondly, money brought in from men’s games not including the USMNT, they make more money than either of our own national teams, because its pretty much pure profit, should we start paying bonuses to Mexico when they play friendlies across the southwest?

    Something should be done about the practice and game facilities, the meal allowances, flights, and hotels so that they are on par with each other. I think Jill Ellis would actually have a better case though, and if that case were filed colleges all of the US would shaking in their boots that they would have to pay their women’s coaches the same as their men.

  2. Regardless of the pay discrepencies, let us not forget that theses are athletes paid for their level of competition, not entertainment. The women compete at the level of a relatively skillful but not very physical 3d division in any European or South American football league.

  3. For USWNT to remain dominant they probably will need to eventually get to the same sort of payment structure as the men, that is higher payment per game actually played rather than receiving a salary. It’s the same trade off often made in the business world – security vs. the opportunity for bigger payouts. That structure would also allow the team more flexibility to bring in new players. Unfortunately, professional women players probably can’t afford to play very long unless they actually make it onto the NT given the poor salaries paid by the NWSL and that would be true no matter what and how the NT gets paid. But getting paid more for actual games played might keep more players in the game longer in the hopes that they will get a shot based on merit as opposed to when someone on the team retires or gets injured.

    At this point, the best way to promote the economic health of women’s soccer here might just be to support the development of strong(er) leagues in Mexico, Brazil and throughout Europe. That would raise the earning potential worldwide.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I hope the succeed in getting a better deal but I hope they also figure out how to encourage the growth of the game.

    • I wondered that too, would they be willing to get say 15,000 a game instead of 60,000 a year, but you have to pay all your own insurance including injury insurance and you don’t have any paid leave. Think about Megan Rapinoe, she would receive nothing from USSF this year if she was on the men’s payment system because she’d be unable to play games.

  4. The answer is simple. Pay both the mens & womens teams an equal base salary. Then link in performance clauses to add more. Amount of revenue earned, maybe win/loss. Qualifying for something,

    Linking in their gate to the calculation + did they play + did they score would be a fair formula. US Soccer does not want them equal since the Women’s team is a cash cow for their entire operation.

    Finally, this is not a new argument. Watch the documentary “Dare to Dream” (its on youtube) and this came up in that. Judy Foudy was getting counsel from Billy Jean King and was told that forget negotiating, just don’t play the games. The names went on strike and USSoccer brought in scabs to replace them (including Brandy Chastain). In the end US Soccer caved in to most of their demands but not all. A lawsuit will go on forever and who pays for the women’s lawyer? I think they deserve what they want but that they need to strike as well to force the issue. The courts will take forever between dates and appeals.

  5. Our women´s program is far more efficient and the team is far more successful than the MNT, hence, they should be paid more, simply put, they are the world champs and their male counterparts are simply clowns trying to play in a WC and have a decent tournament, disgraceful.

  6. Americans have the guts and smarts to speak up for themselves, to organize themselves at their place of work and fight for better pay and conditions — Americans who have been exposed to unsafe working conditions, whose employer refuses to bargain in good faith and who has under-paid them for decades.
    Why shouldn’t we all support them? Their interests are our interests.
    Get lost in the weeds if you want. Be insensitive and sexist, but their fight should be your fight

  7. There are too many details that are not available right now. I don’t completely understand the relationship between USSF and the women on the national team. If what I’m reading above is true that they (the USA women players) are actually salaried employees of the USSF, in other words the USSF is their primary source of income (Morgan endorsement aside as that is an exception). The men obviously are not, they just receive “bonuses” for certain games? This makes any comparison between the men and women financial compensation apples and oranges. The structure on how they are paid is completely different to begin with. Therefore you can’t simply compare the USSF revenues and payouts to players. And if you add in this notion that the USSF is funding the women’s league, that becomes even more complicated.

  8. First I applaud them for wanting more money. It is there right, and while yes their revenue is higher it does not mean they have earned the right for equal pay yet. The men’s game is still light years ahead, and when you have to compete with other countries for players it comes down to supply and demand. There is ample supply of domestic women to play the game at the highest level, the men have to hunt the world for those players.

    Also, as long as women’s soccer remains a bottom tier sport at the club level they will not get paid like the men. How many leagues in the US have failed, and even the current league plays either before empty MLS stadiums or crappy practice fields. When I have seen some games in Europe the crowds can almost field a team of their own. The women need to work on growing their league, and when you can turn down national call ups because the money is not right then your national team $ will increase

  9. I’m confused about how the salaried women players are compared with the men who only get paid if they make the team for a game. I think I remember that Hope Solo was paid her salary even when she was in hot water with the law; a man in the same situation not making the team would get $0.00. What’s ridiculous is getting a lower per diem.

    • So I looked over the budget projections for 2017, the gap in the Women making 5 million and the men losing 1 million has to do primarily with two factors. One the women stand to profit primarily form a 10 event Olympic victory tour. I am not sure how those numbers drop should we not win gold, if say we lost the bronze medal game would there be no tour at all. The men have a main expenses that the women do not have, away matches, three away WC qualifiers, the September to StVG and Nov. and March hexagonal’s site tba. The second set of away game is two away friendlies in October, which one can assume means Europe.

      Secondly that 5 million to -1 million is only dealing with events there is nothing about sponsorship, tv deals, prize money from Olympics/Copa Centario. Its just one small piece, its only the money brought in from gate receipts minus paid out for travel and stadium fees. Not sure if that’s the same thing Grant Wahl is using to get the 60 to 52 number whcijeff was putting out.

      • So what where does an event like the Gold Cup or Copa show up in this? I’m sure US / Sum is making money off that but doesn’t that count as a USMNT gain?

      • I wondered that too as Copa and Olympics aren’t listed. I think those expenses and revenue must be paid out through Conmebol/Concacaf and the IOC. I can’t even find what percentage of the reported $90 million a year tv contract from Fox/ESPN goes to US Soccer, and how much MLS/SUM keeps.

    • I think everyone can agree this isn’t a new issue or discussion.

      If people want to use the word leverage, very few have ever had more than Donovan at his peak. I have no issue with him speaking his mind or voicing his opinion, but as the face of American soccer, why didn’t Donovan take “their side” while was playing and make a stand?

  10. @thegoalkeeper on has a great writeup on this. He breaks down where the revenue comes from.

    Turns out a large part of the projected revenue for the women’s team comes from the series of games and friendlies, victory tours (one is planned already post Olympics), she believes cup, etc. With the structure of the women’s game versus the men’s, the women simply have a much greater opportunity to bring in revenue. That point should not be lost in saying the women draw in more revenue. The women do, but the system is built in favor of them drawing in more, though more of these types of appearances.

    This said, not sure if it means they should be getting paid less for each of these friendlies etc. But a large part of the revenue generation is what they likely signed up for in their CBA. Aside from the pay, a more clearcut win should be had on things like per-deims, hotel class, etc.

  11. i believe both the men and women should be paid accordingly in terms of the revenue that they generate. With that being said, I would fully expect there to always be an interest in the mens national team regardless of their performances in big tournaments and friendlies. On the down side, and i hate to say this but womens soccer around the world is growing and becoming accepted by nations that had previously ignored womens soccer. The US has a vastly superior player pool (numbers not talent) to pull from compared to other countries. Watching the last 5-8 years of womens soccer have shown an emergence of great talent from other countries and from a much smaller pool of players. The US is no longer the dominant or co-dominate force in womens soccer. My question is this. Are they still going to be asking for pay based on revenue when they are no longer wining the WC or Olympics and being beaten on a regular bases by France, Japan, Germany, England, Sweden…etc (like the men). Because lets face it, those countries will soon have a big player pool to pull both fast, big, and strong players (Primary American soccer attributes) as well as being more technically gifted. When that happens will they still generate so much interest and money. I highly doubt that they will.

  12. After reading a few articles on this it looks like a bargaining ploy. I think they are certainly looking for equal benefits in terms of travel and playing fields, but I think they are really looking for leverage in bargaining and in the suit filed against the union, but don’t actually expect to be paid the same especially in WC payouts.

  13. What a way to smoke out all the sexists. Guys, get a grip. This is the 21st century. We Americans are supposed to believe in equality. Let’s treat all the national team players equally.

    • The real problem is we are the most progressive country and the rest of the World is sexist. If Europe and South America cared about the women’s game half as much the Men’s game this wouldn’t even need to be a conversation. (they probably wouldn’t win as much either but still)

    • i guess you think women’s college soccer should cut their scholarships down from 14 to the 10 that men’s programs are afforded? not to mention the 300+ women’s programs vs. 200 on the men’s side(division 1)…and as my boy jack pointed out, the only reason we kill it on the women’s side is that this nation is the least sexist…we have been subsidizing(title ix) and promoting women’s sports much, much longer than the rest of the world

    • more than that, it’s always the same volume posters here who consider themselves the ultimate authority all the time on everything and shout down opposing positions and opinions…same old same old here.

      what sucks is that there are some folks here who actually know things but they get drowned out by the folks who identify with their handles here and their egos attached to them

      watch the replies this post will generate for example…cue the volume posters of self proclaimed authority

    • How is it sexist to say that if men made more revenue they should get paid more? If the WNT brought in more revenue I would say they should be paid more. Why is one sexist and not the other?

      • No it’s not as simple as you make it out to be. Above Jeff gives a great summary of the situation, go read it.

      • Verbose rubbish. Neo-liberal tosh. In every labor dispute you can find folks who make excuses for management.
        The large organization I work for pays everyone who does the same job the same pay regardless of how much revenue their part of the company makes. I bet yours does too.
        Stop thinking like someone who wants to be management’s pet.
        Support our sisters.

      • Oh please, don’t bring that nonsense over here as if I’m some ardent republican that worships the ground Reagan walked on. No my company does not do that, I would never want to work for a company that pays everyone the same regardless of their on the job performance. All I’m saying is there are a lot of variables at play and it’s not sexist to acknowledge that, rather then scream sexism just because I’m not immediately on board with every demand in the lawsuit.

      • Opps reading comprehension failure. What I said and you did not read properly is that nearly all large organizations pay people who do the same job the same salary/wage regardless of whether their part of the organizations makes more or less money. I did not say anything about paying people regardless of performance.
        But since you mentioned performance… if that were the criterion, the women should get paid a lot more than the men.
        And ok, the people who are reflexively siding with USSF against the women are not just sexist, they don’t understand their own interests either. Why would anyone side with USSF — a bunch of incompetents? But more important, USSF has endangered the women’s safety by forcing them to play on plastic pitches, refused to bargain in good faith and generally tried to exploit them. Anyone who does not depend on rich parents or run a sweatshop and goes to work every day ought to side with the women as they stand up for fair play in the workplace.

      • Soccer ain’t like the regular workplace with men & women working side by side doing the same work….the women are mostly beating up inferior sides, many of the amateur or semi-pro. The men are in a much more competitive environment so it’s not really the same work

  14. FYI – USSF also funds #bushleaguemls – people need to stop ignoring that – and to a much greater expense than NWSL.

    • I’d be interested in reading up on it, but I’m not interested in fishing the interwebs for it. I assume you have already accessed it since you referenced it. Can you provide any links with this information. More specifically, the data and finances involved?

    • So its not really that simple MLS through its marketing arm Soccer United Marketing pays USSF, MLS makes that payment back and much more to perform a marketing service, MLS profits from that service and also profits because it increases the value of its own league (they are able to use MNT and WNT contracts as leverage to boost MLS’s tv and ad deals) Oh yeah and since its not a non-profit like USSF, SUM and its CEO Don Garber, which is located inside the MLS offices can be much less transparent in its financial dealings.

      I’m not in anyways an economist so if you want to read on your own here’s a link. Keep in mind this comes from the NY Daily News not the most newsy of organizations. I couldn’t find any other articles about the relationship.

  15. This happened because a CBA deal wasn’t reached years ago and they have been operating on the expired CBA that doesn’t reflect the current $ numbers, etc., of the USWNT. Reports are that USSF wouldn’t give them thw same CBA deal as the men. I assume USSF’s stance is they have all the leverage, as the these women need the US $ to make a significant amount of money for themselves. The USMNT was in a better bargining posistion w/ the CBA because most of them don’t need US Soccer to be millionaires, and could strike with out real harm to themselves. The womens CBA expired years ago, and hasn’t been resolved, with either side willing to have a work stoppage or strike, respectively.

  16. The women, as employees of USSF, should get benefits, a 401k, and a better deal given the revenue they generate for them. However, comparisons with the men’s team should not be part of their argument as it isn’t a wage discrimination issue. If there was a collective bargaining process that led to an agreed upon payment structure, then revise the thing. But that has to be based on projected success and growth of the market for the sport. In the case that the US was on par with Brazil and Germany, with a higher than average likelihood of WC success (lets leave the olympics out of this since it is played by u23s and doesn’t produce comparable revenue as a WC), wouldn’t it be fair for the men to receive an even larger share of the revenues? The USWNT is currently the best in the world (though they hadn’t won a WC since ’99, even though its the country the largest active player pool and with huge resources compared to the other 180+ countries that are out there), so it makes sense that they want compensation that is commensurate with their (recent) success. Hopefully they sustain that success.
    But the reality is that, while the USWNT does spike national interest every 2 years, female players aren’t doing the same job as the men. The men, especially those based in Europe, play a significantly greater amount of games per year (on average 44-55 games, not including national team games) against top competition. The likes of Messi, the caliber of player that Abby Wambach is using as a comparison, played nearly 70 competitive games in 2015 for club and country. Abby, in the season in which she played the most games for the club Washington Freedom, only played 23 games. Throw in friendlies, qualifiers, a successful WC/olympic run, and that number will get to about 35. That’s half of what Messi played. And his primary income comes from his club, not the federation. Factor in the struggles of getting people to watch and follow women’s club play and it quickly is clear that we’re dealing with apples and oranges.
    All that to say, the USWNT is an entirely different animal than the USMNT. However, as employees of the USSF, which the men aren’t, they should get a MUCH better deal. But one issue does arise – namely, how many women can be put on the roster of the USWNT if they are all employees? Doesn’t that create some odd incentives to not try out and cycle through new groups of players? What company’s offer long-term benefits to employees who may only play 2 or 3 games in their entire professional career for the national team? Doesn’t this arrangement leave out the vast majority of players, thus rewarding only, what?, 35 players? How many players has Jurgen tried out in the most recent WC cycle? Doesn’t that factor into the payment structure that is finally decided upon? Competition for a place on the USMNT is MUCH greater than what it is for the USWNT because the competition they face is that much greater. The result then needs to be much better pay for the women, but the message shouldn’t be that their beef is about parity with the men. It’s about employees sharing the spoils that they generated and are entitled to receiving as the “golden goose” that they are. Simple as that. The unintended consequence of all that? Well, fewer women may get a shot at the national team because it may become restrictively expensive to include more women into each WC cycle. In the end, the root cause isn’t addressed. Women’s soccer remains a sport that many want to play, but few can make a career out of. Much less, build a nest egg on. But this is one small win that the USWNT deserves… it just may not end up making much of a difference.

  17. What are the true sources of said revenue is the important question. It feels like the women play far more friendlies on home soil, as a percent of total games. Those are likely high revenue generators, whereas something like the gold cup or extended world cup qualifiers are not, as it’s a Concacaf event.

    We should note that the women are playing far more national team games over their careers also, with so many players over 100 caps. Rampone has over 300!

    • Most star athletes make more in endorsements than actual salary. But, I can’t think of any other USWNT player who probably does? Solo probably used to, but has lost that with her antics.

  18. For me its about revenue generated. If in fact they really did bring in 16M while the men lost 2M then something is very wrong. It looks to me like the women are the cash cow for the USSF. What they’re earning from their club has nothing to do with what they’re paid. I really think the pay structure and rules have to be the same or USSF loses big. Don’t see that they have any leg to stand on on this issue.

  19. I agree with those who say pay should be based on revenue generated from whatever sources derived. But this isn’t a legal thing, its a collective bargaining thing, IMHO. I think the USWNT
    will prevail, but they have to be careful. I can remember when they did a power play for more
    pay awhile back and refused to participate in a big tournament in Australia and the U. S. sent the U-21 Team down to the tournament and they won it. The result was that the USWNT strike was
    short-lived and they remained under-paid.

  20. Leverage, men have it, women don’t. The men’s team makes their bank with their clubs, the women’s team with the national team, if the men decide they don’t like the national team they quit and most won’t feel a huge difference in their wallet compared to the women.

    • Exactly, if US Soccer could pay the men less they would. However how quicklythen does Fabian Johnson retire from the team. It was nice playing in a World Cup but those flights aren’t fun. Thanks.

    • The women have leverage too. They make as much money for US Soccer as the men do. An extended strike would be devastating for US Soccer. The women are projected to generate about $23M in 2016 and the men $21M (this includes Copa America revenue). The women have a position of power here and it looks like they are finally flexing their muscles.

      • Right, but if the men strike they can still make big money, the women have no other source of income. Their leverage is not playing in games, men have that and the fact they don’t need the national team to make money, the women do.

      • Leverage is when you can honestly walk away from the table.The men could easily, and the woman can’t.

      • Fair, but US Soccer also has a lot to lose. Not just in revenue but also in PR. The women have leverage, but maybe don’t have the financial resources to sustain their position as long as the men if they were in a similar position.

      • A couple of things to think about, from Julie Foudy, the women have two major competitions that they draw from the WC and the Olympics, I took it that she was saying since for men its a youth tournament it is part of a different contract, so by looking at women’s revenue to men’s revenue year to year you will the women make more than the men in those two years the men in their WC year and the other year around the same. I can’t think of any reason the women would be estimated to make 8 million more in 2017.

        From Abby Wambach its not just about pay differences, but also the quality of travel from flights to hotels, to practice facilities that are rented (she’s talking about you Hawaii). If there is a significant difference here, that seems pretty bad on the USSF. If the men are staying in nicer hotels, and getting better travel that something that can be easily changed and should be.

        Did Wahl mention if that was gross or net revenue?

      • Jack: Never, the women host qualifying competitions most of the time, might have to go to Canada or Mexico every 8 to 10 years, but that would be it. I can’t think of them playing too many European friendlies either, they play in the Algarve Cup most years, but I think the SheBelieves Cup replaced that.

  21. This is fast becoming a SJW world. Equality is one thing, but “fairness” is subjective. If the raw data of attendance, TV contracts/ratings, etc validates equal revenue brought in by each national team squad, then I absolutely support equal pay.

    If it the numbers aren’t equal across the board, sorry. That’s where you lose me in the debate.

    • What makes it even more complicated is US Soccer is pumping money into NWSL. They could be putting equal money into each program while the players are making less.

      • Regarding the NWSL, it reminds me of the complaints that pop up now and again regarding WNBA salaries to NBA salaries. ESPNW and the rest of the SJW’s come out in force to complain about the wage gap for doing the “same job”. Of course, this ignores all sorts of revenue factors including the NBA entirely subsidizes the WNBA – which also operates at a loss to this day.

        This conversation mirrors the ongoing debate that pops up every few years regarding college sports: men’s and women’s programs.

    • “Revenues for 4-year cycle: $60.2 million for US men, $51.2 million for US women. Women trending upward too.” The women are projected to generate an equal amount of revenue in 2016 and are projected to out earn the men by $8M in 2017. They are generating equal revenue for equal work. They deserve to be paid equally.

      • You’ve posted the exact same message three times now from the exact same source within the exact same thread with little to no variance. We get it, but it’s bordering on spamming.

      • And yet people continue to post the same argument that men generate more revenue and should be paid more, when that is flat out untrue. This implies that they didn’t read my other comments before posting and therefore deserve to be corrected.

      • And yet people continue to post the same argument that men generate more revenue and should be paid more, when that is flat out untrue. This implies that they didn’t read my other comments before posting and therefore deserve to be corrected.

        People are entitled to have varying opinions.

        I read your post and found it intriguing, but I’m also aware that numbers can be twisted. I’m not suggesting the stats you posted weren’t worth considering or looking into, but it’s a singular source. I’m open to all sources, personally, and not just the ones that help prove my individual point.

        If the women have a valid and strong case, I see no reason they can’t secure what they’re seeking. If they don’t, however, I doubt it’s because of discrimination. It’s more likely due to the numbers you’re providing telling the whole story or only telling a single narrative.

        Let’s relax with the whole mantra of “correcting” people when the story is still being told and the situation is still developing.

      • Fair. Grant Wahl seemed to be getting 3 important pieces of information from 3 separate sources, but maybe I’m misreading his Twitter posts. If you go back and read my very first post, I too was unsure if the women deserved more because I assumed the men made much more money for USSF than the women. However, as the data seems to be coming forward, it certainly seems like my presumption was very wrong. I also assumed that many of the people posting similar things to my first post, questioning if they truly deserve more money, would appreciate being corrected with actual statistics just as I was. Maybe I got a little carried away with the redundant posts, but it seems like this is an important enough issue that people should be properly informed.

      • it seems like this is an important enough issue that people should be properly informed

        Couldn’t agree more.

  22. is it “fair” that over 300 women’s division 1 college teams each have 14 scholarships while 200 men’s programs each have 10 scholarships.

  23. If the woman think they aren’t being paid enough based on what they bring in that’s one thing. However stop the comparisons to the men’s side. They are just 2 completely different universes.

    • Fair, but from a pure revenue generating perspective the are about equal (and are projected to surpass the men’s team) and for that reason deserve to be paid equally.

  24. Of course their are pragmatic reasons why they get paid less..but i completely support their cause using recent success (both on field and revenue) to close the gap. They could not do more for the cause or the business of US Soccer / FIFA / et all

  25. So ill come out and not be so PC about it.. its not discrimination its simple economics and competition level

    The Womens competition is not even on the same level as what the men face.. so to want payment to be like for like ,,,? hmm ok when the only competitive team in your region is canada and your blowing out your opponents who don’t even have a pro setup or system

    and your only facing stiff competition at the world cup and olympics which are a cake walk to qualify for.

    Its nice to Be WC champions when there’s what 12 competitive teams in the world if that

    So to be fair they are salaried employees so this is basically some players club team so bump them to 100K thats a decent wage for any player living in any city in the US ad bounuses and appearance fees on top of that

    • Sorry to burst your economics bubble, but the women are not far behind the men in terms of revenue generated. “Revenues for 4-year cycle: $60.2 million for US men, $51.2 million for US women. Women trending upward too.” The women are projected to generate an equal amount of revenue in 2016 and are projected to out earn the men by $8M in 2017. Sorry, but your economics argument falls flat. They are generating equal revenue for equal work. They deserve to be paid equally.

      • its paid on a per game basis, so when you compare numbers you need to look at the number of games. USWNT at projected to pay 25 games at 17.5M and USMNT is 9 games at 9M.

        If we are talking what the women should be paid per game, relative to the mens team, based simply on revenue, the womens team should make .7 less than the men do.

        Im not saying what is fair and what isnt, just important to point out that if the issue is payout per game, total revenue w/o factoring in number of games is problematic

      • I don’t know if I completely trust those figures. Per USSF, usmnt friendlies generate on average $639,000 in revenue and uswnt between $210,000 and $360,000 in revenue. The usmnt earns much more from the world Cup than the women do because the the 2014 men’s world Cup had a $1.4 billion profit and 2011 women’s (couldn’t find 2015 #s) made less than $6 million. So regardless of results usmnt will earn more just due to size of the pie.
        There is also Copa America this summer which will likely generate revenue in a manner that doesn’t exist in the women’s game. For example, average attendance at 2015 world Cup was about 25K per match, Copa America will have attendance around 65-70k per match at much higher ticket prices.
        I don’t have exact number but jersey sales aren’t even close. 2014 usmnt was 2nd only to Brazil in total jersey sales.
        I support what the women are doing, they have the right and should fight for more money.
        With that said there is a lot of manipulation going on right now with the numbers. And the media is being played.
        The real issue is that the usmnt is riding the coattails of international men’s football (soccer) which is the most popular sport in the world, meaning there is a boatload of $ . And the uswnt has to carry women’s soccer because outside the US nobody cares about women’s soccer

      • those projections cite they think Copa America will have a 15 million dollar profit, but they dont list it with the number associated with the usmnt revenue. I had my wife, a CPA, explain the budget projection document to me. Its a real shame that the majority of media haven’t had this done for themselves because there is a lot of misinformation going around and citing total revenue when the issue is payment per game is misleading and disingenuous

  26. This is a simple matter of economics. It is more than results. Money from sponsors, TV, and other sources are different. This is like the WNBA wanting to be paid like the NBA. It will probably never happen. The only way the USWNT will make close is if they have not only similar revenue, but their value is that as well. Many of the USMNT players are making 10-30k per game they play for their club teams. Some are actually making way more if you look at Bradley, Dempsey, and Jozy for examples. The UWNT players are making maybe 1-3k per game for their club. They can argue to make whatever they want, but the big difference is that for USMNT this is supplemental income to their club, while for USWNT they want this to be a major source of their income due to poor club pay due to poor attendance, no TV deals, or real sponsorships in place.

    • USWNT players arent paid by their club, they are paid by USSF, a deal so NWSL can exist and not go under (NWSL is good for the USWNT, is the idea). They are employees for USSF and are paid in the 90k’s a year. They were paid this when they played only a couple games for their clubs last year as well, but if they played the full 20 games, its like $4500 a game.

      • Then this changes the conversation. If the USSF is floating the league and paying all expenses then that needs to be included. Even if the USWNT is getting close to the same revenue as the USMNT that is a partial picture. You now need to include that the league NSWL is losing money every year and you are having to pull away from USWNT to fund the league. Since all compensation comes from the same place.

  27. Could wage discrepancies depend at all on potential work for club lost, time from club and things along that line?I am sure the women are making chump change in comparison to their male counterparts world wide. So I guess my thought is if the leagues can’t provide equally pay why should the federations? I have not seen any numbers but it just seems through watching games minus the women’s world Cup the men always have a bigger audience. But like I said I’m speaking with no figures behind me.

  28. I don’t really care either way how this ends up playing out just like I don’t really care when the women thump some concacaf team 6-0 in Rochester New York.

  29. Equal pay for equal work in law means that women must get paid for the work inside the home as well as out. When you count the domestic work many of these women are doing, they must be paid more. But it is hard to tell if some do more chores than others, so how do you define that?

  30. I’m all for them fighting for themselves and each other when it comes to compensation . But these are cherry picked numbers. The ’15 budget reflects compensation for a WC year for the men. I would like to see the budget reflecting compensation for the women for last year because I haven’t seen it yet. Given their victory I imagine it’s pretty good. Also I’ve seen breakdowns of payments to men vs women and a lot of the disparity (again for ’15 budget) is due to the fact that Jurgen Klinsmann makes way more than anyone. Not just way more than Ellis but way way more than his male predecessors. It is also hard for me to believe that the women produce more revenue than the men when their leagues keep failing and I have never seen a women’s game sold out that wasn’t part of a World Cup. If the women truly do produce more revenue than the men then by all means pay commensurate with that (i.e. more pay than men), I just seriously doubt that it is even remotely the case.

    • It doesn’t really matter how much the women’s league makes, it is about how much the USWNT makes for US Soccer. I thought the disparity was greater, but according to Grant Wahl’s twitter post: Revenues for 4-year cycle: $60.2 million for US men, $51.2 million for US women. Women trending upward too.

      If this is the case then the women deserve to be paid more. Hands down.

  31. This should be an interesting case. is it equal work? Seems like it, but who knows what arguments the lawyers could make! Is basing it solely on revenue a fair way to go? I don’t think historical performance should be an influencer.

    Even if the USSF had its current position upheld in court, it may not be worth the bad PR.

  32. i think that wage descrepency for wins in friendlies and for wins and losses against high level competition in matches that matter is eye opening considering that our Women are the BEST, have won 3 ships and 4 Gold medals. Now, do i think that the wages should be on par, heck no, and neither do the women i suppose but their making chump change compared to the men and have been carrying the torch for the federation in terms of accolades so something needs to change. The Collective bargaining agreement won’t help them because the womens side, according to the article, agreed to what they are being compensated, etc. This really puts USSoccer in a tight spot with the Olympic Games coming up this summer, the womens team tried boycotting the WC because of what they felt was a insuffecient playing surface and now this. Does another threat to boycott rear its head again or do things stay pat until after the Games. Should be interesting none the less

  33. It seems fair to compensate based on how much revenue is raised by WNT events relative to MNT events. If the contribution is even then the pay should be even too.

    • the cited USSF projections for FY2017 indicate that per game (USMNT = 9, USWNT = 25), the USMNT is expected to bring in about 300K more a game (700K v 1 million)

  34. But the USMNT stimulates more money for the federation so it makes perfect sense. This is simple economics and not work discrimination. If the women stimulated more money for the federation then I am sure they would get paid more.

      • their lawyer cherry picked stats (i.e.last year’s revenue which was a WWC year, just across the border). Semi longer term the men’s team is a bit ahead in revenue generation. And historically i would suspect it’s much more lopsided.

        it’s unclear to me if revenue includes TV contracts – those are bid over longer terms so probably not.

      • the lawyer, at least in the news segment on TV, only quoted 2015 figures. This is obviously not a fair point given 2015 was a WWC year. men ahead in the longer term, but not by very lopsided. Per Wahl:

        Revenues for 4-year cycle: $60.2 million for US men, $51.2 million for US women. Women trending upward too.

  35. “But the women have without dispute vastly outperformed the men not just on the playing field but economically for the U.S.S.F. The women have generated all the money in comparison with the men.”

    Is that true? I have always heard that the men generate far more revenue than the women.

    • I would imagine that over the past two years the Women’s team has easily produced more revenue. In a men’s world cup or qualifying year i would imagine it swings back..
      The most consistent, not necessarily the largest, revenue source for USSF is probably the Mexican National team tv and stadium fees here in the States.. sorry to throw salt on everything but hey there money is important to US Soccer! … complete conjecture btw let me know i am way off.

      • Grant Wahl has some really great stats on his Twitter page about this. I recommend going and checking them out. The USWNT are projected to out earn the men in 2017 by $8M. Their 2016 projections are about even.

    • Well considering we saw the finances of the national program, I’d say that the women don’t have much of a leg to stand on.

      Men’s team had like 30 Million in revenue, women’s team had like 6 million in a year they won the freakin’ world cup.

      Sorry, but if you can’t draw a crowd like the men, you don’t deserve to get paid like the men.


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