The USWNT Will Reap the Financial Rewards From the USMNT’s World Cup Success
It might not have been a walk in the park, but the USMNT secured a big win on Tuesday. The American squad got the result they needed, beating Iran 1-0, to earn a place in the 2022 World Cup’s Round of 16. Things will only get tougher from here, but advancing out of the group is still to celebrate.
And while there was plenty of national pride going around, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) had something else to celebrate. Thanks to the current CBA, the women scored a major financial victory on Tuesday.
The USMNT are advancing to the World Cup Round of 16, which puts some money in the USWNT coffers
While most of the World Cup narratives focus on players’ resumes and national pride, there is a tangible prize on the line. According to FIFA, the tournament has a $440 million purse. That’s broken down by final placement, with teams failing to escape the group heading home with $9 million and the tournament-winning squad pocketing $42 million.
So, while it’s unclear how much money the USMNT will leave Qatar with — maybe they go on a Cinderella run and win the whole thing — advancing to the Round of 16 does bump them up to the next financial bracket. If Gregg Berhalter’s men fall to the Netherlands on December 3, the Americans will fly home with $13 million in prize money.
While that might not seem like a great deal compared to some salaries in the big four sports, the sum is nothing to sneeze at. It’s also important because the USWNT gets a piece of the pie.
As explained by CBS Sports, the current U.S. Soccer CBA says that the USMNT and the USWNT pool their World Cup winnings and equally divide them. So, the victory over Iran essentially earned each team about $2 million. (There’s also a cut that goes to U.S. soccer, but let’s keep things as round numbers for the sake of ease.)
While that money is invaluable to the USWNT, it does underscore the financial disparities between men’s and women’s soccer
From a big-picture perspective, it’s impossible to argue that adding more money to the USWNT’s bank account isn’t a net positive. The American women have proven to be both talented and successful, so keeping their metaphorical lights on (and hopefully having cash to push beyond the bare necessities) is essential.
At the same time, though, there’s a less-than-positive element to the story. As laid out by Lindsay Gibbs of Power Plays, this extra $2 million sum is equal to the total prize money when the USWNT won the 2015 World Cup. It’s also half of the total prize ($4 million) they squad claimed after winning the 2019 World Cup.
So, while it’s great that the United States squads have this revenue-sharing agreement in place — hopefully, it pushes other federations and FIFA itself to further level the playing field — the sheer difference in money also serves to underscore how vast the gulf currently is.
Right now, though, this is the framework we’re working in. Maybe the revenue-sharing situation is just another reason to cheer for the USMNT to go as far as they possibly can.