Now USSF President Carlos Cordeiro is pushing back. He wrote an open letter explaining that he directed U.S. Soccer staff to conduct “an extensive analysis of the pa st 10 years of U.S. Soccer’s financials.” He said the analysis was “reviewed by an independent accounting firm.” The analysis showed that the women’s team was paid more than the men’s team.
The fact sheet includes bulleted information about the different pay structures for the men’s and women’s teams. USSF claimed that it paid “women $34.1 million in salaries and game bonuses and we paid our men $26.4 million — not counting the significant additional value of various benefits that our women’s players receive but which our men do not.”
For example, the women’s team has a guaranteed salary thanks to their collective bargaining agreement with USSF. They receive a base salary of $100,000 each year and an additional salary of $67,500 to $72,500 for playing in the National Women’s Soccer League. Male soccer players do not have such an agreement.
That agreement means women soccer players earn a guaranteed salary of $167,500 to $172,500 each year. On top of that, they are paid bonuses. The men’s team only earns bonuses. Yes, those bonuses can be larger, but that’s because they don’t have the guaranteed base salary. The women’s team, according to USSF, also receives benefits including a 401(k) plan and health insurance, as well as maternity leave and injury protection. The men’s team does not receive any benefits.
Finally, USSF points out that the “hypothetical per game comparison” making the media rounds isn’t even plausible. Neither the men’s nor the women’s teams have ever played 20 friendly matches in a year, yet this is what the hypothetical scenario is based on.
“That said, if the men and women ever did play in and win 20 friendlies in a year and were paid the average bonus amount, a women’s player would earn more from U.S. Soccer than the men’s player — the women’s player would earn at least $307,500 (WNT and NWSL salaries, plus game bonuses) and the men’s player would earn $263,333 (game bonuses only),” USSF claimed.