Meritocracy Doesn’t Apply Here


Vancouver, Canada – Sunday, July 5, 2015: The USWNT defeat Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final at BC Place.

Its 2017… aren’t we past unequal rights between men and women? Guess not when it comes to the United States Soccer Federation.

As young athletes, our dream is to play professionally in the sport that we love. For the most part, playing professionally provides a stable income. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for Women’s Soccer. Members of the United States Women’s Soccer Team (USWNT) are not paid nearly the same amount as their male counterparts – despite the women being the more dominant team.

The USWNT is currently ranked number one in the world where as the Men’s National Team (USMNT) is ranked twenty eighth. Even though the women are ranked number one and the men ranked twenty eighth, the men make close to $9,000 more than what the women make.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Regardless of who their opponent is – FIFA Top 25 or not – the USWNT gets paid $1,350 for winning a game. Now that is only if they win. If they lose or tie a game, they get paid a whopping total of $0. Zero. Nothing. No money for them if they lose or tie.

However, let’s look at the men’s team.

If the USMNT plays an opponent ranked in the FIFA Top 11-25, they are paid $12,500 for a win, $6,250 for a tie, and $5,000 for a loss. Now, if they play a team ranked in the FIFA Top 10, the men are paid $17,625 for a win, $8,125 for a tie, and $5,000 for a loss.

Hopefully, you have caught on. However, in case you haven’t, I want to point out that if the US Men’s team loses, they still get paid twice as much as the US Women’s team does if they win. A member of the men’s team could show up and take a nap on the sidelines, and still gets paid no matter what. But a member of the women’s team could play a full 90 minutes and even score a goal yet, still get paid zero dollars at the end of the day.

The irony of it all, is that the USMNT has never had the same success as the USWNT has had.

In the past 17 years, the US Women’s Soccer Team has won Three World Cup gold medals, Four Olympic Gold Medals, Seven Gold Cup Championships, Four Olympic Qualifying Championships, Ten Algarve Cup Gold Medals, Seven U.S. Cup Championships, Six Four Nations Tournament Championships, and Two Peace Queen Cup Championships. All of that does not include Second place/Silver medals, and Third Place/Bronze medals. That equates to 43 Gold medals. The US Men’s National team has won only Three U.S. Cup championships, and One Marlboro Cup championship. Looking at these stats, it is clear to see that the Women’s National team has put in their fair share for the United States.

With already low expectations, the Men’s National Team still disappointed, failing to qualify for  the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

Maybe the United States Soccer Federation should start putting more money and effort into the US Women’s National Team, as it seems that they are the only team that can put United States on the map when it comes to soccer.

So, is the joke on just the US Women’s National Team, or is the joke on all girls who aspire to play professional sports?