The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Wage War

Brady Beland, Contributor

The U.S Women’s soccer team is number one in the world. These women are insanely talented and help U.S Soccer make higher revenues than the men’s team does. With all the success that these women have had, they still make significantly less money than the men’s team.

While the women’s team has four World Cup titles, the men’s most recent World Cup victory was all the way back in 1950. The women’s team’s collective bargaining expires in December of 2021, and while they may have won crucial gains in their current agreement for a higher wage, the wage gap remains in the World Cup bonuses paid by FIFA. These women bring in a higher revenue for US Soccer and do better in their league, so why are they still making significantly less money than the men’s team? The gender discrimination these women are facing is extremely regressive. If the roles were reversed, FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation would be sure to act upon the issue. 

The U.S women’s soccer team is an incredibly skillful group who are the most successful in their international league. They have won four World Cup titles (1996, 2004, 2015, 2019), eight CONCACAF Gold Cups, and four Olympic gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012). The men’s team did have two World Cup victories, but they were all the way back in 1934 and 1950. The men did not qualify for the World Cup again after 1950 until 1990. The men’s team has won six CONCACAF Gold Cups, but their success doesn’t even compare to that of the women’s team. These women have more successful careers in their sport than the men do. Is it completely unreasonable for someone who is better at their job to want to get paid more than someone who is significantly worse?

In addition to the success that the victories of the women’s soccer team has brought to U.S Soccer, they have also drawn in more revenue than the men’s team. According to financial statements of the U.S. Soccer Federation published by The Wall Street Journal, in 2016 women’s games generated $1.9 million more in revenue than the men’s games did. From the span of 2016 to 2018, the women’s team generated $50.8 million from games and the men generated $49.9 million from games. Regardless of the larger revenue coming from the women, the men still end up making more money. While the women have a base salary of $100,000 and can only earn some bonuses, the men’s team earn only bonuses. According to a compensation model from the U.S Women’s National Soccer Team lawsuit, if both teams were to win 20 games in a row, the female players would make 38% less than the male players. 

Although the U.S Women’s Soccer Team won crucial gains in their agreement for a higher wage, they are still making significantly less money than a male player does due to bonuses provided by FIFA. These bonuses are typically awarded to a player based on their performance, but way more of these bonuses are being given to the male players. Considering the women’s team generates more money that the males do, the bonuses should be awarded more to the female players. They should also be scaled higher due to the fact that the women make more money for FIFA and the U.S Soccer Federation than the men do.

If someone is increasingly better at their job than someone else, they should be paid more money. These women are facing gender discrimination and deserve to earn the wages that they are entitled to.