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Volume 26 No. 51
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Frustration Mounting As USWNT Misses Out On Match Bonuses

Ellis' continued tinkering with the USWNT lineup in recent games has been unsettling to some players
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The USWNT in the two years since its new CBA took effect has "missed out on roughly" $1.7M in performance bonuses -- sometimes as much as $200,000 for a single match -- which has led to "frustration within a team that now has large payouts on the line every time it takes the field," according to Caitlin Murray of the N.Y. TIMES. The USWNT in '17 "secured what seemed to be a significant victory on match bonuses," seeing an "increase as much as sixfold for winning certain games." They would also for the first time "earn bonuses even if they tied matches against top-tier opponents." USWNT MF Megan Rapinoe said, "We have a very bonus-heavy structure, purposefully -- we win a lot of games and expect that we'll win a lot of games." But Murray notes the players are "coping with the reality that winning isn't always entirely within their control." USWNT coach Jill Ellis said that her priority has been "looking long term and leaving no stone unturned." But the "unpredictability created by abrupt experiments by Ellis has been unsettling to some in the locker room." The USWNT lost the SheBelieves Cup again this year when "continued tinkering by Ellis resulted in draws against Japan and England." Because the tournament also "offers a $5,000 bonus per player for a first-place finish ... the team missed out on a total of nearly $400,000 in combined bonuses" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/10).

PROVIDING SUPPORT: Former USWNT F Abby Wambach promoted her new book "Wolfpack" on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” last night and also talked about the lawsuit the team filed against the USSF to try and close the pay gap between the women's and men's national teams. Wambach said, "This is a true discrimination lawsuit that they've just filed against U.S. Soccer, and I'm proud to be supporting them." Wambach said the "big argument" she hears is that the men's team "brings in more money, so of course that's why they deserve to make more money." But it is "just not true." The USWNT in '15 won the World Cup and brought in $6.6M, while and the men's team "only brought in" $2M (“The Daily Show,” Comedy Central, 4/9).