USWNT CBA makes first big payouts for Worlds Qualifiers
The US women’s national team won its ninth regional championship on Monday – finally reaping the financial rewards after years of fighting for equal pay.
The CONCACAF W Championship, which served as World Cup and Olympic qualifiers, was the team’s first tournament under a new collective bargaining agreement that could make the USWNT the highest-paid national soccer team in the world.
In five games, most U.S. players earned $120,000, plus $26,000 for two pre-tournament friendlies—almost as much as they were paid to win the 2019 World Cup under their previous CBA.
Under that 2017 deal, which became the subject of a contentious legal battle, a USWNT star would have earned $15,000 in match bonuses during the Women’s Championship, plus $37,500 for Worlds qualifying and $25,000 for Olympic qualifying — making it all together $77,500.
The players then earned $147,500 each for winning the 2019 World Cup and $25,000 for third place at the Tokyo Olympics — in addition to $100,000 annual salaries for most established players or a few thousand dollars per game for “unsigned players.” “.
The new CBA – ratified this spring and which pays US women almost the same as US men – moved away from base pay but offers women unprecedented bonuses per game and World Cup.
If they won the 2023 World Championship and if the men reached the Round of 16 at the 2022 World Championship, a USWNT player would earn $70,000 in match bonuses plus approximately $350,000 in World Championship prize money – because the USWNT and USMNT agreed to first time pooling World Cup prize money and sharing an equal 45% cut. (The US Football Association gets the other 10%.)
An Olympic gold medal in Paris the following summer would net an additional $112,000 to $132,000 per player.
The total maximum payout associated with the qualifier and both global tournaments will be somewhere in the region of $700,000 per player – double the previous CBA.
This comparison does not include base salaries, but also does not account for significant increases in per-game bonuses for friendlies, which will more than make up for the lack of base salaries in the 2022 CBA. Under the previous deal, a USWNT player would have earned $10,500 for two friendly wins over Colombia.
Under the current deal, each player earned $26,000 for two friendly wins against Colombia last month.
The new agreement, which runs through 2028, gives both men and women equal shares in US soccer broadcasting and advertising revenue, as well as more than $5 per ticket sold at their home games.
In presenting the new CBA to players, the USWNT Players Association leadership calculated that players could earn as much as $450,000 per year before World Cup prize money, and twice that in a World Cup year. Taking into account base pay under the old CBA, the new CBA will represent a 40-90% pay increase for most friendlies, a 68% increase for World Cup qualifiers and six-figure pay increases overall, according to USWNTPA projections.
The CBAs also promise to pay players 70% of prize money for non-World Cup tournaments. If there are no equal competitions for the men and women, the money will not be pooled and shared. The USWNT would therefore have earned 70% of the prize money associated with Monday’s title. However, a CONCACAF spokesman confirmed to Emox News on Monday that there is no prize money attached to the W Championship.
CONCACAF has paid $1 million to the winners of the Gold Cup, the men’s biannual championship. The women’s championship was the closest equivalent for years. (The men’s World Cup qualifiers will be played in a double round robin format over several months.)
However, CONCACAF plans to launch an actual equivalent in 2024, the W Gold Cup. The CONCACAF spokesman said there will be prize money attached to this competition.