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USMNT Mar 11, 2016

U.S. Soccer releases annual budget figures; reveals USWNT as cash cow

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In the wake of last month’s annual general meeting in San Antonio, the U.S. Soccer Federation released the minutes, reports, proposed bylaw changes, budget figures and proposed 2017 budget this week, giving fans, pundits, players, parents and everyone else associated with the domestic game plenty to chew over.

Fed president Sunil Gulati noted in his remarks at the AGM that USSF’s finances, across the board, are presently in an “extraordinarily good place.” But the most striking takeaway from the budget stats was the enormous revenue power of the U.S. Women’s National Team, which is riding high both on the field and off since claiming a third world championship at last summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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How high? National-team revenue in 2016 is projected to run some $20 million ahead of what was budgeted, and even when increased costs are factored in, net variance is still more than $14 million better than the fed expected. And most of it has come from the massive popularity of the USWNT.

“Even though Women’s World Cup revenues didn’t keep pace with expenses (to the tune of a $2.2 million deficit), the projected non-World Cup event revenue for fiscal year 2016 ending March 31 is $23.6 million, thanks in large part to the Victory Tour and apparel sales around the World Cup,” notes Stephanie Yang of

“Non-World Cup WNT events are projected to account for 41 percent of revenue from all national team games in FY2016.”

Yang’s breakdown of the women’s side of the ledger makes for fascinating reading, and suggests that with collective bargaining talks unfolding this year, the WNT players union is in an even stronger negotiating position than previously believed, as it often brings in greater paydays than the MNT.

The fed is also ramping up spending, and in many cases revenue, in myriad other departments, including youth development, coaching education, refereeing — and expects to gain a nearly-unprecedented $15 million payday from the Copa America Centenario tournament taking place across the country this summer.

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The numbers also reflect increased inputs and outlays on both the Development Academy and the new Girls Development Academy project, and help explain why USSF took such an aggressive approach on that front.’s Jonathan Tannenwald has a point-by-point analysis of this budget that explains where all this money is coming from, and going to. has also posted a PDF copy of the full USSF report here; it’s a treasure trove of details about the workings of the fed, not only in terms of finances but also what unfolds in meetings like the one that took place in Texas in February.

What do you take away from this week’s info? Is the federation spending its windfalls wisely? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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