The starting salary for contracted players is $100,000 per year. In addition, at least 22 players have been assigned to National Women's Soccer League teams. Tier 1 players—of whom there must be at least 11--get an extra $67,500 per year, while Tier 2 players earn $62,500. Below are the salaries of some prominent American soccer players.
Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey: $100,000 per year
Jermain Defoe: $90,000 per year
Clint Mathis: $80,000 per year
Cobi Jones: $75,000 per year
Paul Caligiuri: $70,000 per year
Michael Parkhurst: $60,000 per year
John Terry: $55,000 per year
Ashley Cole: $50,000 per year
Eddie Johnson: $45,000 per year
Joe Corona: $40,000 per year
Chris Wondolowski: $40,000 per year
Matt Hedges: $35,000 per year
Jerry Bengtson: $30,000 per year
The majority of professional soccer players in the United States make less than $100,000 per year in total salary from their teams. Dozens earn the bare minimum of $54,500, making it difficult to afford a nice apartment in various cities. The top earner is Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes; he earns $115,000 annually.
Soccer is a very popular sport in Europe and some other parts of the world, but it is rarely considered a profitable activity there, either for professionals or for fans. The highest-paid player in European soccer is Gareth Bale of Real Madrid, who made $150,000 in 2013. He played only 90 minutes on average while scoring only three goals over 38 games during that season.
In North America, where the sport is much more popular, players can make a lot of money. David Beckham was one of the best soccer players in the world and earned millions with his career. In 2014, he announced that he was retiring from football at the end of the season, after playing for LA Galaxy for 10 years. He had already finished playing for Manchester City earlier that year.
During his career, Beckham made almost $20 million, including $5.5 million from Manchester City and $4.5 million from LA Galaxy. He is now ranked number two all-time among goal scorers in MLS history, behind Landon Donovan.
According to the statistics, from 2010 to 2018, U.S. Soccer paid $34.1 million in pay and game incentives to women's players, compared to $26.4 million to men during the same time period. There are distinct collective bargaining agreements and salary systems for the men's and women's teams. The average salary of a woman in the United States is $0.8 million while that of a man is $120,000.
The most lucrative league in the world is the English Premier League. Over the last decade its average salary has been $150,000-$200,000 per player. Women's football is still not as popular in England as men's football so they can only afford to pay such high salaries for a few players.
In Europe, women's football is becoming more and more popular so the salaries of women's footballers are also increasing. In Germany, some women's football clubs even have their own professional leagues where they can earn significant amounts of money. In the United States, by contrast, there is only one professional league for women's football - the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). The average salary of a player in this league is only $0.5 million.
Overall, female soccer players get paid less than their male counterparts. But they can also make more in terms of bonuses because each goal scored or successful pass leads to a small payment.
The average salary for a player was roughly $25,000, with national team players earning closer to $40,000. The best competitors in the tournament received up to $70,000 in prize money. Today, the median salary of a professional rugby player is about $60,000.
In addition to their salaries, top-level rugby players can earn extra money through sponsorship deals and advertising. Some players become celebrities after being selected in trade unions' international squads, which can lead to increased marketing opportunities.
Overall, professional rugby players earn more than other athletes in comparable sports. But how much they actually make depends on how many games they play and what position they hold. A first-team player who doesn't have a contract will usually make less than one who does. Contracted players often receive weekly checks without any additional bonuses or incentives being tied to individual performances.
For each designated player, the league pays $335,000 of his salary ($167,500 for DP players coming during the MLS summer transfer window), with any leftover compensation paid by the team's owner. For designated players signed in the midst of the season, this fee is reduced. Teams are not permitted to have more than three such players on the field at one time.
MLS teams can only have a total of five players on their roster who receive compensation (i.e., non-DPs) from their club. If a team has six DPs, one of them must be released to make room for another player. The team that releases the player receives $150,000 of his salary as cash plus a 20% share of his annual salary count for future seasons. If the released player ends up signing with another club, the releasing team will receive an additional draft pick equal to that player's position rank.
The remaining $175,000 in compensation for a DP is paid by the team's owners, who can either pay it themselves or by increasing the amount of their own salary budget charge. If a team wants to pay part of its DP's salary but not all of it, they can do so by using targeted allocation money (described below).
Each team's total cap figure is set at $3.5 million.