Pay Disparity in U.S. Soccer? It’s Complicated


Illustration by Sam Manchester/The New York Times

The core fact is not in dispute: The players on the World Cup-winning United States women’s national soccer team earn less money than their counterparts on the men’s national team. After that truth, things are muddier. How much less? How can that be fair? And most important: What is being done about it?

U.S. Soccer and the union representing the players on the women’s team have traded court filings and accusations — in a lawsuit filed by U.S. Soccer over the validity of the team’s collective bargaining agreement and in a wage-discrimination complaint filed by five top players last month. Amid all of this, we gave both sides the opportunity to make their case using U.S. Soccer’s public (and private) financial data. What we found suggests a complicated battlefield.


The United States women’s national team won its third Women’s World Cup championship last July.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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