NEW YORK -- Players on the American women's soccer team could earn $200,000 each in years they win the Olympics or World Cup under a labor contract finalized Wednesday.
The deal calls for the U.S. Soccer Federation to pay a minimum of $1.28 million annually to 20 players who would be in residency, with at least 14 guaranteed salaries of $70,000 and at least six guaranteed at $50,000. The USSF has the option of hiring up to four more players at $30,000 per year and can bring in players to camp on a trial basis for up to six weeks.
"U.S. Soccer has been a leader and an innovator in the world of women's athletics through the years and will continue to be so as the team takes the field with the goal of recapturing the Women's World Cup in 2007," USSF president Bob Contiguglia said.
The United States won the Women's World Cup in 1991 and 1999 and won the Olympic gold in 1996 and 2004.
Players would earn $1,000 bonuses for wins in all non-World Cup and non-Olympic games. For the 2007 Women's World Cup and the 2008 Olympics, players would get $10,000 for being on each qualifying tournament roster; $10,000 for making the 20-woman roster for each tournament; $50,000 for finishing first, $20,000 for placing second and $10,000 for winding up third.
If the Americans win either the Olympics or the Women's World Cup, players would split $1.2 million for a 10-game celebration tour.
Depending on how the Americans finish at the 2007 Women's World Cup in China and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the money will increase by 20 to 27 percent for the 2011 Women's World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics.
Under the agreement, players can take maternity leave at 50 percent of salary, and each player receives a housing allowance and a stipend. The USSF guarantees to keep the team in residency annually, except for the year following each Olympics, when there are usually fewer games.
If a new women's soccer league is launched, the USSF will continue to pay salaries, but at a reduced rate. The Women's United Soccer Association launched after the 1999 Women's World Cup but folded in 2003 after three seasons.
The U.S. men's team agreed last month to a contract through the 2010 World Cup. They would earn bonuses of at least $199,239 for making the second round of this year's tournament in Germany and up to $748,533 for winning this World Cup. Their bonus money for 2010 would increase from 22.5 to 35 percent, depending on this year's finish.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press