USWNT post-World Cup

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
37,955
Where do we go from here?

Players likely aging out of NT picture (age as of next WC):

GK Ashlyn Harris (37)
GK Alyssa Naeher (35)
D Becky Sauerbrunn (38)
D Ali Krieger (38)
MF Allie Long (35)
F Carli Lloyd (40)
F Megan Rapinoe (38)

Also of note: Alex Morgan (34), Christen Press (34), Tobin Heath (35), Jessica McDonald (35), Kelley O'Hara (34)

Our 3rd string keeper, Adrianna Franch will also be 32, but she only has 1 cap to her name now. GK will be a position of need.


Likely in the mix in 4 years:
GK: Campbell (28)

Defense: Dahlkemper (30), Davidson (24), Dunn (31), Sonnett (29), Mace (26), Fox (25)

MF: Mewis (30), Brian (30), Ertz (31), Horan (29), Lavelle (28), Sullivan (27)

F: Pugh (25) (Only forward in WC under age of 30), McCaskill (26)

There's obviously a few others in their mid-20s now with a handful of caps, but I don't know them well enough to know if there's a breakout candidate there.

Priorities: Keeper, forwards

There's still A LOT of talent, but Morgan, Press, and Heath aren't likely all starting in 4 years, so some depth needs to be developed over next few years.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,868
California. Duh.
It's only 1 year until the 2020 Olympics, so many of the older generation will probably hang around until after that tournament. Both because it's only 12 more months, and I'm sure they feel like they have unfinished business from 2016.

At what point do you start looking for a new coach? Again, Ellis probably stays through the Olympics, but what about after that? It's rare for a coach to go through 2 full World Cup cycles, much less beyond that.
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
24,121
Ellis I think stays on, unless she doesn't bring the Gold in 2020.

Forwards I would think are Press, Morgan, Heath/Pugh for 2020 and 2023.
Midfield should get stronger with more experience, and stay the same player-wise.

Greatest need would be to find a replacement for Sauerbrunn.
I'm confident we can find a great goalie for 2023

There's a lot of great talent in the pipeline, having watched some ACC soccer last 2-3 years.

I think everyone but Lloyd stays for 2020. Not sure about Megan. I can see her retiring.

There's no age limit for Women for Olympics as there is for men, right?
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,868
California. Duh.
There's no age limit for Women for Olympics as there is for men, right?
Yeah, it's the full senior teams in the women's competition. But unless they've changed it from the last Olympics, the roster is limited to 18 instead of the 23 for the World Cup.
 

coremiller

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
4,321
I think the biggest concern is not so much finding replacements, but managing the transition of convincing the current stars to accept reduced roles. It's an ego/psychology issue rather than a talent issue. Didn't it get messy for a while when Ellis had to transition Abby Wambach out of the first XI? IMO the biggest danger is that Ellis sticks with the Morgan/Rapinoe/Heath front line for too long even after those players have lost a step or two, or that the squad factionalizes over who's first choice.

On the bright side, the midfield remains ridiculously stacked with prime-age players and will stay that way for a while.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
10,154
I think the biggest concern is not so much finding replacements, but managing the transition of convincing the current stars to accept reduced roles. It's an ego/psychology issue rather than a talent issue. Didn't it get messy for a while when Ellis had to transition Abby Wambach out of the first XI? IMO the biggest danger is that Ellis sticks with the Morgan/Rapinoe/Heath front line for too long even after those players have lost a step or two, or that the squad factionalizes over who's first choice.

On the bright side, the midfield remains ridiculously stacked with prime-age players and will stay that way for a while.
Yes, the culture surrounding the team has always been one that erred on the side of veterans, so these moments are tricky for sure.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
Knowing that the USWNT pay dispute has never had a higher profile than it does today - and that a certain meme is going all around Facebook - I thought I'd crunch a few numbers.

25161

25162

25163

Top points:
- Starting in 2016, the WNT has been compensated at roughly the same amount as the MNT, in total, particularly once you account for NWSL subsidies. Over those 3 years the MNT averaged $19M in expenses and the WNT + NWSL averaged $20M.
- Prior to that, the two were at a stark disparity, such that over the last 8 years (two World Cup cycles for each) the women were at ~69% of the men's pay in total.
- The USSF has seen substantial growth in overall revenue the last few years, which has given them the leeway to more or less equalize compensation - and, frankly, probably gives them enough cushion to invest more heavily in PR gestures, and/or equalizing coach compensation, or god forbid investing in eliminating pay-to-play in certain areas.
 

Awesome Fossum

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,614
Austin, TX
Do all national federations house both the men's and women's programs? Is it a terrible idea to split the two?

It's too bad that the NWSL doesn't have a showcase lined up for the deadest day in sports. Imagine being able go straight into Rapinoe's Reign FC vs. Heath and Horan's Portland Thorns in a sold out Providence Park tomorrow night. For all the talk about equal pay at the national team level, the real money is in club soccer. It doesn't feel like the NWSL is ready to capitalize.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
37,955
It's an interesting topic but can the pay issue get it's own thread and keep this for on-field things?

Also, the best thing you can do to help the women's game is go see a game if there's a team in your area.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
1,833
It's an interesting topic but can the pay issue get it's own thread and keep this for on-field things?

Also, the best thing you can do to help the women's game is go see a game if there's a team in your area.
The Chicago Red Stars are a fantastic experience and great value for a family outing. The players have always been happy to hang around and sign every autograph and smile for every pic.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
It's an interesting topic but can the pay issue get it's own thread and keep this for on-field things?
Why? We discussed the last few iterations of this issue - the CBA, previous lawsuit, etc - in the last few USWNT threads. It's the most important thing going on with them for the next 10 months or so.

Do all national federations house both the men's and women's programs? Is it a terrible idea to split the two?
Yes, and No, respectively. It's an interesting idea to consider. However, the way sports-in-general is organized, is:

IOC recognizes International sport-specific Federations (~35 of them at the Olympic level, e.g. FIFA, IAAF)
IOC recognizes National cross-sport Olympic Committees (~204 of them, e.g. USOC, BOA for Great Britain), which are generally also appointed/established by each country's legislature
--> Both the sport Federations and the country-level NOCs separately recognize nation- and sport-specific National Governing Bodies (e.g. US Soccer Federation, USA Basketball)
--> The NGBs then have various regional organizations that oversee their sport on a regional level, and/or different branches that deal with variations in the sport or sub-competitions
--> At least within the US, the law governing the USOC and NGBs is that active athletes have to have 20% of the voting power on an NGB board, there is only one NGB per sport, and sports with separate male and female programs must have representation by both men and women on the board

In other words,
(1) there is no precedent for separate NOC or International Sport Federation recognition of men's and women's competition in any given sport, and
(2) The vast majority of NGBs in the USA - in fact, all of the ones I'm aware of - organize around geography, so any splitting of responsibilities would mean duplicate infrastructure at the regional or sub-sport level

However, just because you can't split out the top-level governance or the low-level regional / youth stuff, doesn't mean that they couldn't run separate P&Ls for each national team, and let specific US Soccer executives manage distinct partnerships, marketing and budgets. You'd duplicate roles and salaries at an executive USSF level, but maybe that would create a more efficient result overall - in terms of avoiding labor strife, allowing the tailoring of marketing, etc. But then you'd probably need them to separately manage each of the youth national teams going down to, what, U15? I have no idea the level of infrastructure required there, but at some level (regional scouts?) you'd probably need to re-unify the processes.

It's too bad that the NWSL doesn't have a showcase lined up for the deadest day in sports. Imagine being able go straight into Rapinoe's Reign FC vs. Heath and Horan's Portland Thorns in a sold out Providence Park tomorrow night. For all the talk about equal pay at the national team level, the real money is in club soccer. It doesn't feel like the NWSL is ready to capitalize.
What would that readiness look like? There's really no precedent for a commercially successful pro league for women's team sports. In individual sports you've got successful pros in tennis, golf, figure skating, ski/snowboard, etc. You have semi-professional teams and leagues that are supported financially by their NGB in basketball, soccer and hockey - and beach volleyball, I suppose. The WNBA is the closest to being profitable, with average attendance around 8000 per match; they have 4 games tomorrow. NWSL is 2nd, averaging 5000-6000. Tomorrow their stars have a parade, but as you say, not much else. But absent better TV partnerships and a groundswell of attendance (particularly including attendance by dudes, for whom there is still a stigma), they have to keep chugging along.

This article from Fox discusses it more in detail, I found it interesting. Given that NWSL is essentially managed by USSF, maybe they're well-positioned to decide that this is the moment to go into the red and promote the shit out of it, especially with help from the 4 deep-pocketed club owners who also own corresponding MLS teams (and you can lump the owner of Sky Blue FC in with them). But I'm not enough of a sports marketer to spot some obvious flaw in their plans, or missed opportunity.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,868
California. Duh.
We got a pretty good idea of how much of a priority the NWSL was to US Soccer after the last World Cup win in 2015. Rather than having the USWNT players participating in league games as the playoffs approached, the federation pulled them out for the money-making Victory Tour. A few of us here commented that it was a huge missed opportunity for the league to take advantage of the renewed interest in the national team players and promote itself.
 

Spacemans Bong

chapeau rose
SoSH Member
The teams in the league's three biggest markets playing in suburban stadiums all but unreachable by public transit seems like a big part of the problem. Somebody in DC tweeted some snark about somebody asking her where Rose Lavelle played, and for all the reasons it's a shitty tweet, the fact is Rose Lavelle plays in something called the Maryland SoccerPlex in something called Boyds, MD, which involves two hours riding the bus and train and a .8 mile walk to get there. Rapinoe's going to be coming back to the USA and playing in a Triple-A ballpark in Tacoma, that really isn't optimal for anybody.

Playing downtown isn't the magic bullet, see the Houston Dash, but at least playing more games in the local MLS stadium seems like a no-brainer for some clubs.

I'd also look at how the league is marketed. Women's sports seems to be marketed towards tweens and families, which I suppose has to be done when you're playing in the burbs, but young single men (and women) don't really want to go to a nursery to watch sports.

The WSL in the UK has some of the same problems.
 

Awesome Fossum

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,614
Austin, TX
Right, and if there's ever a time to stretch yourself, it seems like it ought to be this week and weekend. Audi Field presents an opportunity for the Spirit, and while they won't be able to fill it immediately, they'll never have a better chance than right now with Lavelle's star shining bright. Moving straight into marquee matchups in bigger stadiums wouldn't be a silver bullet, but it sure feels like a squandered opportunity.

They're doing another Victory Tour this year; first game is 8/3 in the Rose Bowl against Ireland.

The next four matches of the Victory Tour will be on August 29, September 3, October 3 and October 6 at venues around the country. Opponents, venues and ticket availability for these games will be announced at a later date.
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
17,400
The 718
Just got out of the subway near the beginning of the parade route. I couldn't fight my way through the barriers to get close enough to take a picture that would make sense, but I can report that there is a MASSIVE crowd of very psyched-up people, including many all kitted out - little girls, yes, but boys, men, everyone.

just awesome.
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
17,400
The 718
In Europe, the clubs compete in multiple sports. Real Madrid, Barcelona, CSKA Moscow, Bayern Munich etc. all compete in Euroleague basketball. There's not 100% overlap with women's basketball, but some well-known football clubs like Olympiacos and Fenerbahce are represented in the women's EuroLeague. (Real Madrid even fielded a baseball team in the 50's: https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Real_Madrid )

Premier League sides mostly have womens' sides (not all, but they seem to be coming online). Some of the sides in the top flight of English womens' football are second-tier or lower on the mens' side. But it's gradually moving in the direction of English clubs having womens' sides.

The WNBA is kinda-sorta on this model, although there are WNBA teams without an NBA brother (and obviously many NBA teams without a WNBA sister), and the team branding is not the same.

Would it make sense for MLS to field mens and womens sides? I wouldn't blame backers of the womens' game from balking at the idea, given that MLS has its problems and isn't the best-run league out there, and that the womens' game has gotten short shrift generally. Nevertheless, the NWSL has been executed poorly. The demand for the womens' game is clearly there, as evidenced by the mob I had to elbow my way through to get to my office. Doubling up on facilities, academy infrastructure, business operations, marketing etc. seems to make a lot of sense. You could even do mens'/womens' double-headers - that might be too much footy in a day for some, but it might go.

Why not?
 

Zososoxfan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 30, 2009
5,628
South of North
First and foremost, I want to say that I really enjoyed the WWC and the USWNT's run. This team was a beast. I love Ertz's game. Morgan is a striker on par with peak Luis Suarez (and without the biting). O'Hara is a FB I can model my game after (if I'm being extremely generous to myself). Heath was a fascinating player to watch. I realized I don't know as much about the sport as I thought because I overlooked Lavelle's contributions. Carli Lloyd had an awesome story. Figuring out whether Ellis helped or hurt the team is a fun discussion.

All that said, I do find some of this pay gap discussion surprising. In short, sports are entertainment and the women are paid based on what revenues the sport is generating:

The pay gap is an outrage, outraged pundits proclaimed. Others fired back that the men’s World Cup last year generated $6 billion, of which the participants split $400 million, or about 7 percent of the total revenue. The women’s World Cup is expected to generate $131 million, of which the women’s teams are splitting $30 million, or about 23 percent of the overall revenue.

So, while I firmly support anyone who argues for equal pay in the workplace or based on merit, entertainment is one area where I think this applies differently.

At the same time, if the facts below are true, USSF (not FIFA) have some 'splainin to do:

In 2016, women’s games generated $1.9 million more in revenue than men’s games. From 2016 to 2018, women’s games generated approximately $50.8 million in revenue, compared with $49.9 million for men’s games.

The Journal report notes that the “ability of the women’s team to generate gate revenues that equals or exceeds the men’s team is an important battleground,” and central to an ongoing lawsuit filed against the USSF by 28 members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team in March.

Pertinent to some recent posts (from the same article):

According to The Journal, this difference can largely be attributed to ticket sales. The USSF sells broadcast and sponsorship rights for the men’s and women’s teams together, and as a result, it can be difficult to determine the exact broadcast value of the two teams.

According to the lawsuit, the Women’s National Team Player’s Association (WNTPA) has proposed a revenue-sharing model to “test the USSF’s ‘market realities’ theory,” describing a proposal that would tie player compensation to revenue generated by the women’s national team for USSF.
So, at least this is in the courts where it should be dealt with in a (presumably) more fair way.

One last thing that I don't think has been mentioned is that the highest level of the womens game seems to be at the international level. This was true for men until the 90s or so, but nevertheless it's something to consider and monitor.
 

allstonite

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 27, 2010
1,526
Watching the parade on silent while doing some work. They all look very hungover. Also, who thought it was a good idea to put a giant globe in front of the float with Morgan, Rapinoe and the trophy? Every time they show their float approaching you can barely see any of them.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
37,955
Why? We discussed the last few iterations of this issue - the CBA, previous lawsuit, etc - in the last few USWNT threads. It's the most important thing going on with them for the next 10 months or so.
Because new threads are good? There's no agenda---like we have different threads for the USMNT and then another for the overseas players, etc.
 

luckysox

Eeyore
Bronze Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2009
7,412
S.E. Pennsylvania
Pinoe just gave the trophy to the young girl who walked with her to hold up for the crowd. This is why people like this team. Priorities are in the right order.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
All that said, I do find some of this pay gap discussion surprising. In short, sports are entertainment and the women are paid based on what revenues the sport is generating:

So, while I firmly support anyone who argues for equal pay in the workplace or based on merit, entertainment is one area where I think this applies differently.

I actually feel differently in that I think prize money from the global sport federation is one place to make a statement about equality and be disproportionate to revenues. Have you watched the 30-for-30, "Venus Vs"? It tells the story of how Venus Williams sold equal-prize-money to Wimbledon, and thence onward to the other grand slams. It wasn't an economic argument, it was a principled one, and it's pretty compelling (and analogous here).

At the same time, if the facts below are true, USSF (not FIFA) have some 'splainin to do:
While that's some very interesting and novel data, I think it actually reduces the 'splainin they have to do (to me, anyway - clearly they have a lot to tell the courts and public opinion). If you look at the numbers above that I pulled from the USSF financial statements, they spent almost exactly the same on the men's and women's NT over the same time period you quote (2016-2018), $18M/yr for women and $19M/yr for men, plus $2M/yr on the NWSL (mostly for management although that may also include the subsidies of NT players). So depending on how you cut it, pay is already equal, at least at the USSF level - and that's who they're suing.

If you ask me, the real 'splainin is in the respective coaching salaries (Klinsmann made 10x Sundhage / Ellis; Berhalter makes ~3x). Equalize that and I guarantee you we get the best women's football coach in the world for the foreseeable future.


One last thing that I don't think has been mentioned is that the highest level of the womens game seems to be at the international level. This was true for men until the 90s or so, but nevertheless it's something to consider and monitor.
It's still probably true but getting less so, particularly in UEFA where it's so easy geographically to build a super-team. Lyon, Chelsea and Barcelona all appear to have rosters stronger than their respective national teams:

- Lyon's core is the core of the French NT, with Renard, Henry, Majri, Le Sommer, Bouhaddi, etc. But to that they add the HOF-worthy German DM Marozsan, two English NTers, the German #2 GK, and of course the Dutch forward van de Sanden. Oh, and the Ballon d'Or winner, norwegian Ada Hegerberg.
- Chelsea's core is the core of the English NT, with some of Sweden's stout defenders there, Scotland's star striker Cuthbert, and a handful of players of other nationalities including South Korea's all-time leading scorer (as a MF) Ji So-Yun, and the New Zealand captain and former Stanford star Ali Riley.
- Barcelona's core is the Spanish core, plus the Dutch wonder defender van der Gragt who kept the WWC Final from being like 5-0, and Nigerian star striker Oshoala who had her team's only WWC goal, and Dutch MF Lieke Martens who was 2017 UEFA Women's POY.

Any of those 3 might give the USWNT a better game than the national teams, and probably have their way with the NWSL clubs. Partly for the same reason as the men's game (i.e. they play and practice together far more often than the NTs, even if there were a slight talent advantage). Bayern's been buying a bunch of top players too, and PSG is on their way up with a very international squad (including Alana Cook, Stanford '18 star, and several Brazilian NT'ers).

I would watch the hell out of a women's Club World Cup, or even a USWNT vs UEFA CL Quarterfinalists barnstorming tour.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
5,127
I've seen tons of people linking that above article on twitter, those numbers don't include the tv deal or sponsorships because they're technically sold as a package deal even though the men likely are the reason for the majority of that money. Outside of the world cup the womens team does terrible tv ratings while the men do well even for friendlies.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,868
California. Duh.
I'm still waiting to see what the player proposal for equal pay really means. It shouldn't be a huge issue to equalize the money that players are paid if they are called into the national team, but what would that do to the women's game overall?

As we've discussed in the past, the payment structure of the men vs. women is very different (employee vs. contractor, salaries vs. pay only if called up, benefits vs. none, etc.). The 2 sports just aren't comparable in the sense that the women are compensated by the national federation for playing in the NWSL, while what the men are paid by US Soccer and their clubs are not related.

If they simply changed the pay structure for both teams so that a player gets X for being called into the team, regardless of sex, that would accomplish the equal pay request as far as income from US Soccer, but the women would still make less overall for playing the sport because of the difference in club money, and the NWSL would likely go under.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
10,154
Does Carlos Cordeiro seriously not know how to pronounce "Rapinoe"?

Embarrassing.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
27,565
AZ
I'm not educated about the pay issue. It's in the to do list of things that I want to learn enough about to have an opinion.

But what jumps out at me from the information that MDL posted is Jill Ellis' salary as compared to the mens' coaches. Is that a typo?

That is absolutely shocking. How is that justifiable?
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
I'm still waiting to see what the player proposal for equal pay really means. It shouldn't be a huge issue to equalize the money that players are paid if they are called into the national team, but what would that do to the women's game overall?

As we've discussed in the past, the payment structure of the men vs. women is very different (employee vs. contractor, salaries vs. pay only if called up, benefits vs. none, etc.). The 2 sports just aren't comparable in the sense that the women are compensated by the national federation for playing in the NWSL, while what the men are paid by US Soccer and their clubs are not related.

If they simply changed the pay structure for both teams so that a player gets X for being called into the team, regardless of sex, that would accomplish the equal pay request as far as income from US Soccer, but the women would still make less overall for playing the sport because of the difference in club money, and the NWSL would likely go under.
My take is that it's largely PR to try and (A) put the screws to USSF for a few marginal dollars and (B) win a PR battle to be the face of the fight for gender equity in sports, which will have downstream effects for the team's popularity as a whole. That's why you get disingenuous memes like the ones floating around right now, those aren't coming out of thin air, there's a PR campaign underfoot. If they had deep substantive restructuring requests - like Awesome Fossum's concept of splitting the men's and women's programs (presumably in terms of separate executive leadership and P&L management) - I imagine they'll be discussed privately and collaboratively with USSF and their board.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
I'm not educated about the pay issue. It's in the to do list of things that I want to learn enough about to have an opinion.

But what jumps out at me from the information that MDL posted is Jill Ellis' salary as compared to the mens' coaches. Is that a typo?

That is absolutely shocking. How is that justifiable?
Market demand for NT-level men's coaches as opposed to that of women's coaches. I don't like it, but even as one of (presumably) the better coaches in the world, there aren't many places looking to pay Jill Ellis more than $300k to coach their team, so we're the high bid. Whereas Klinsmann had coached Bayern, so arguably someone was going to pay him 7 figures. Plus Gulati had stars in his eyes.

Doesn't make it right, just explains how you get there. I'm trying to find comparable numbers for Ellis's peers.

edit:

Phil Neville (England) apparently makes GBP 250-300k (~$350k). His men's team counterpart Gareth Southgate makes 5M GBP.

Corinne Diacre (France) has some impressive experience coaching Ligue 2 Clermont (that's the men's team), and they assured the public at the time that her salary was commensurate with any man of comparable experience. And the FFF is apparently a bastion of progressive thinking by football standards, staffed by 40% women. Even so, Didier Deschamps makes 4M EUR / yr and I'd be surprised if Diacre makes 10% of that.

Can't find any salary info on Emma Hayes (Chelsea), Joe Montemurro (Arsenal), Fran Sanchez (Barcelona) or Jean-Luc Vasseur (Lyon).
 
Last edited:

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
41,076
deep inside Guido territory
This article reflects the inequalities in just the World Cup payout process. Considering how much money the USSF is sitting on in their coffers, they could afford to pay out the women a lot more than they could be. Most of the men's players make more just advancing out of the knockout stage than the women do by winning the Cup. It's sad.

On top of the unequal pay, they are also forced to play on turf much more than the men and never flew charter to frendlies whereas the men did all the time.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
37,955
The World Cup payouts are set by FIFA not the USSF, and they received a higher percentage of revenue than the men do.
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,349
The disparities between the two sides of the federation are worth addressing, but it’s the salary structure of the non-USWNT NWSL players that shocked me more when I looked it up. Semi-pro/poverty level minimums and salary maximums that barely scratch the surface of middle class.

If the only players who can make a decent living at all in the league are the handpicked Federation contract recipients, that seems like a recipe for both player pool stagnation and league stagnation. I know they’re being cautious to avoid another league folding, but $16k to $46k seems like an absurd salary range.
 

StupendousMan

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,045
According to the statistics at this Wikipedia entry, the average attendance at games in 2018 was just over 6,000. How much will fans have to pay to produce salaries in a range you don't find absurd?
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,349
Looking into it, USL teams are probably the best comparable on the mens' side of the game in the US attendance-wise. Checking casually, I can't find definitive salary ranges, but it seems like USL salaries are somewhat higher from the range of things I could quickly google at work.

A minimum of ~$16k, along with a salary cap that seems to ensure that most players will be close to that minimum, is pathetic. It's bad enough in the minor leagues of baseball where at least they're competing for a shot at becoming multi-millionares, but to start that low in a place where the highest level (USWNT) has the much lower ceiling as discussed in the rest of the thread.

It's also a nasty combination that, as some European leagues start to pay more, the USSF discourages American players from playing in other leagues. I'm not sure how much they're doing this with the players not already on their salary schedule, but if they're only considering adding players to the pool if they're playing in the worse-paying local league, that would be troubling to me.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
This is why Emma Hayes, manager of Chelsea's women's team, predicts England will pass the US as the premiere destination for women players.

"We are setting the tone, the trend, the way in the world. It's always been about America but sorry, they lag behind us now. Yes, there may be a little more equality in terms of the teams they have in their league, the support the players get, but the interest in the game [here] is growing," Hayes said at a news conference to preview Chelsea's clash with Paris Saint-Germain in the Women's Champions League quarterfinals. "It's a snowball, and I can't see anybody getting in the way of England becoming the best place in the world to play football."

Hayes began her illustrious coaching career in the U.S., spending five years in charge of the Long Island Lady Riders and Iona College before becoming Arsenal assistant manager in 2006, and also enjoyed a two-year spell in charge of NWSL side Chicago Red Stars prior to taking the reigns at Chelsea in 2012.

Hayes also believes that a three-year sponsorship deal with Barclays announced this week -- reported to be worth around £10 million -- shows a growing interest in the women's game in England.

"Tell me a league in the world in the women's game that can attract a sponsor like that and the level of investment?" she asked. "It's absolutely brilliant and credit to them.

"This will be the best league -- if it's not already -- in the world, and I think this announcement [Barclays sponsoring the WSL] demonstrates that we've got the pulling power to bring the very best to our league and, importantly, to put their money in the right places," she added. "The work that's been done here in the last five years should be celebrated... it's unbelievable, such a great news story for our country, and one that I'm sure America will look at and say, 'How do we keep pace with that?'

"The best players aren't going to America. They're staying in Europe, and in fact they're coming to England."
Pretty bold words given our NCAA pipeline, but there's no doubt Hayes's career gives her enormous credibility to assess that question, even if (from her current position) she's a bit biased.
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,349
The European players specifically aren't eligible for the USWNT salary stuff, so unless there are DP style rules I am missing then the maximum any non-US or Canadian player can make in the NWSL is about $40k.

Thanks to Title IX, the US has gotten a lead in national team level soccer that it seems like it won't relinquish in a while, but at that pay rate I'd be shocked if European club soccer doesn't start poaching all of the best non-US pro talent, unless said talent is looking for an education primarily first and routes through the NCAA system.
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
17,400
The 718
The American situation is just begging for a big-money sponsor to step up and put some serious money behind the league. A skewing young, skewing female, upwardly mobile, ethnically diverse audience - marketers should kill for it. You could guarantee a $100,000 minimum salary for a 23-player roster for 8 teams for under $2M, which is a rounding error for a large consumer company's advertising/marketing budget (quick Googling: Coca-Cola Co. spent more than $4B worldwide in advertising last year; McDonalds, $1.7B in USA last year).
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
Solid point OCST, this is why having USSF manage the league was wise for the first year or so and is now holding them back - they'd go broke trying to sell water bottles at Burning Man. Can't market their way out of a wet paper bag. Prop up the corpse of Chuck Blazer, weekend-at-bernies style, and he and his cats probably sell a couple million a year in sponsorship and TV deals.

The best thing they could do would probably be to spin the league off to a nonprofit association partly controlled by the players (even if the club owners still have the upper hand), get some professional management at the league office on the business side, and stick to organizing national-team squads, development and matches. That would be far superior to having the entire league be controlled for a for-profit entity (where you could seek a deep-pocketed equity partner), where the structure is set up to be autocratic and authoritarian from the start, with a fan and employee culture the exact opposite of that.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
10,154
I wonder how much the NWSL will be able to capitalize on the cultural moment the USWNT is having. All the stars will be continuously absent from their clubs with the USWNT "victory tour". I'm not sure there has been enough cross-promotion or enough marketing, though living in Boston I am no longer in an NWSL city.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
15,004
Looking into it, USL teams are probably the best comparable on the mens' side of the game in the US attendance-wise. Checking casually, I can't find definitive salary ranges, but it seems like USL salaries are somewhat higher from the range of things I could quickly google at work.

A minimum of ~$16k, along with a salary cap that seems to ensure that most players will be close to that minimum, is pathetic. It's bad enough in the minor leagues of baseball where at least they're competing for a shot at becoming multi-millionares, but to start that low in a place where the highest level (USWNT) has the much lower ceiling as discussed in the rest of the thread.

It's also a nasty combination that, as some European leagues start to pay more, the USSF discourages American players from playing in other leagues. I'm not sure how much they're doing this with the players not already on their salary schedule, but if they're only considering adding players to the pool if they're playing in the worse-paying local league, that would be troubling to me.
USL is probably the best comp, attendance is probably a bit better in USL, 8 teams are over 5,000 average to only 2 in NWSL (Portland and Utah). USL salaries aren't public, but there is no minimum and there are stories of guys making less than $8,000 a season. They also have no healthcare, which given the nature of the employment is absolutely insane. USL guys are mostly living even worse than NWSL players.


The American situation is just begging for a big-money sponsor to step up and put some serious money behind the league. A skewing young, skewing female, upwardly mobile, ethnically diverse audience - marketers should kill for it. You could guarantee a $100,000 minimum salary for a 23-player roster for 8 teams for under $2M, which is a rounding error for a large consumer company's advertising/marketing budget (quick Googling: Coca-Cola Co. spent more than $4B worldwide in advertising last year; McDonalds, $1.7B in USA last year).
I guess the question is what do you get out of it as a company that you don't get for much cheap by being a sponsor/advertiser, except more risk.

I wonder how much the NWSL will be able to capitalize on the cultural moment the USWNT is having. All the stars will be continuously absent from their clubs with the USWNT "victory tour". I'm not sure there has been enough cross-promotion or enough marketing, though living in Boston I am no longer in an NWSL city.
It's never really happened in the past. USWNT explodes at Olympics/WWC time, but the trickle down isn't really happening.



One key thing.... NWSL should partner with MLS and re-structure to have every team be a partner of an existing men's team (basically how the Euro leagues mostly work), and making an agreement that they'll play in either the same stadium, or a similar facility actually in the city. The two most successful teams in terms of attendance are Portland and Utah, who are probably the best supported MLS partners. It takes out a lot of overhead to use the existing structure of the mens teams. The 3 worst supported teams are 2 independent sides and the DCU associated team, all 3 share the distinction of playing in tiny facilities in the middle of nowhere.

NWSL feels like it is at the point MLS got to.... where amateurs who love the game and helped the league survive need to be encouraged to sell to people who can provide real funding and facilities (or just be forced out sadly).
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,349
The Victory Tour stuff seems to 100% discourage the growth of the NWSL and is maybe the poster-child for the USSF contracting situation with those players being damaging for the potential of the club game to grow.

Pulling the league's best players out of the league at the point of peak Women's Soccer interest to pack stadiums in friendlies and fill USSF coffers makes a mockery of the idea that the league means anything at all. It's probably actually better for the players themselves if they get paid per-game for any of those friendlies, but it really reduces the league to a glorified exhibition league.
 

Awesome Fossum

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,614
Austin, TX
Seriously. Even if they did an NWSL all star game (or four!) vs the USWNT. Or do the Victory Tour as friendlies against NWSL teams. There has to be a more creative way to make this work for everyone.
 

SocrManiac

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 15, 2006
2,754
Enfield, CT
The only mental gymnastics I can perform that allows this to make sense is to be as pessimistic as possible. USSF feels that in the public eye women’s soccer only happens once every four years (if they ignore the Olympics). They want to capitalize on this and strike while the iron is hot. Get rich now and mortgage the future.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
15,004
The only mental gymnastics I can perform that allows this to make sense is to be as pessimistic as possible. USSF feels that in the public eye women’s soccer only happens once every four years (if they ignore the Olympics). They want to capitalize on this and strike while the iron is hot. Get rich now and mortgage the future.
They're also contractually obligated. The CBA requires it, and the players want it.

The other thing though is.... the USSF doesn't run NWSL or MLS, and honestly I think while coordination is good, it's on the league to handle conflicts with major tournaments not the federation.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
10,154
USL is probably the best comp, attendance is probably a bit better in USL, 8 teams are over 5,000 average to only 2 in NWSL (Portland and Utah). USL salaries aren't public, but there is no minimum and there are stories of guys making less than $8,000 a season. They also have no healthcare, which given the nature of the employment is absolutely insane. USL guys are mostly living even worse than NWSL players.
USL contracts are also 11 months, I think. The upper division of the USL recently unionized and are going through the collectively bargaining process now, so it's possible some of the most egregious stuff will be improved.

But yeah, there's a reason why you see lots of players who are perfectly decent for the level retire at age 25 in USL and NWSL.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
They're also contractually obligated. The CBA requires it, and the players want it.

The other thing though is.... the USSF doesn't run NWSL or MLS, and honestly I think while coordination is good, it's on the league to handle conflicts with major tournaments not the federation.
USSF does run NWSL. They operate the management of it. They're basically the league office.

MLS, sure, they have a long and sordid history between them. But they run the women's league. Poorly, as everyone here well knows.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
15,004
USSF does run NWSL. They operate the management of it. They're basically the league office.

MLS, sure, they have a long and sordid history between them. But they run the women's league. Poorly, as everyone here well knows.
huh, I don't know how I missed the management agreement. For some reason I thought it was "independant" but with an incestuous self-dealing relationship like MLS.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
10,154
USSF does run NWSL. They operate the management of it. They're basically the league office.

MLS, sure, they have a long and sordid history between them. But they run the women's league. Poorly, as everyone here well knows.
I don't know what the ramifications of this are, but the USSF management contract with the NWSL expires this winter.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
huh, I don't know how I missed the management agreement. For some reason I thought it was "independant" but with an incestuous self-dealing relationship like MLS.
Yeah, there's been a lot written about it in recent weeks.

e.g.:
Multiple NWSL owners, however, expressed to The Equalizer a frustration with the way the league itself has missed the opportunity to promote itself during the World Cup. Significant staff losses at NWSL Media—the commercial arm established when the A+E partnership was born—are also believed to have hampered efforts to promote the league this season and this summer.

Since its inception, the league has been bolstered by the support of U.S. Soccer, which subsidizes the salaries of many of the top American players and provides logistical support in the NWSL’s front office—believed to be a total around $15 million since 2013.

Owners also expressed to The Equalizer a frustration with the federation, especially in the set-up of the arrangement of SUM (Soccer United Marketing)—which markets the rights of the federation and Major League Soccer, but not the NWSL. Some owners believe that has created a built-in conflict of interest where, at times, the federation and the league have become inadvertent competitors for sponsorship dollars.

The federation, for its part, knows that it needs to continue to invest in and support the league, but also wants to get out of managing the NWSL on a day-to-day basis. That will, of course, require increased investment from the league’s owners—still a mishmash of scrappy independents, charismatic trailblazers and well-funded yet seemingly apathetic caretakers.

The management agreement between the federation and the league is set to expire at the end of this year, when owners are expected to assume ultimate power over league decisions. Both sides also recognize the contributions of the other. The owners know that without federation support the league never would have gotten off the ground in 2013. The federation knows that many owners have lost millions of dollars in a project driven more by passion than financial gain.

The NWSL’s commissioner, Jeff Plush, stepped down in March 2017 and the league, to this day, operates without one. Then managing director of operations, Amanda Duffy, became the face, if not the de facto head of the league, until being promoted to the position of president this January.
It's a long and interesting article. I didn't know the current arrangement expired at the end of this year, either. But you couldn't have tailor-made a better moment in time for a big investor to step in. Much like MLS could only really launch after the success of hosting the 1994 World Cup not only proved demand but also itself expanded the market, after two consecutive WWC titles, you're never going to have a more-ready shot at making the first independently successful women's team-sports pro league.