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Bonuses at stake for World Cup players

Selection to the U.S. World Cup squad means representing your nation in the planet's most important sporting event. It means being part of history, whether or not you step on the field. It means possibly playing a role in the massive upset of England in the Group C opener (well, we'll see about that).

It also means claiming a tall stack of cash.

While MLS and its players' union continue to wrestle over a new collective bargaining agreement -- lots of meetings are scheduled this week and next -- the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association and the U.S. Soccer Federation have had a deal in place since 2005 when, amid acrimonious negotiations, a squad of lower-level players nearly had to suit up for a Cup qualifier. The current contract expires Dec. 31, 2010.

Although neither the players association boss, Washington-based attorney Mark Levinstein, nor the USSF would comment on compensation for this summer's World Cup.....

.....we are going to assume the bonuses have increased incrementally over four years. So while we can't offer specifics, we can give you a general idea of what is at stake financially for those vying for a slot on the 23-man World Cup squad.

For players earning seven-figure club wages, such as Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, Oguchi Onyewu and others, the USSF bonuses provide a nice supplementary income. But for candidates like Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley ($60,000 base salary with MLS in 2009, not including incentives and other guarantees) and Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein ($90,000), a World Cup roster slot would be lucrative.

Under the CBA guidelines reached five years ago, each player on the 2006 squad received:

-- $37,500 for being named to the final roster.
-- $3,750 for every Cup match played by the team.
-- $3,000 for each friendly leading to the Cup.

The team was also collectively awarded $150,000 per point earned in the first round, so in that case, one tie/one point resulted in $6,520 per player (assuming it was distributed equally). Overall, each player would have received approximately $65,000 in bonuses for being part of the World Cup crew.

The team's reward for advancing out of group play (and beyond) would have been substantial:

-- Nearly $2.8 million for the players to share for making the round of 16.
-- An additional $2.25 million for reaching the quarterfinals.
-- $2.6 million for the semifinals.
-- $3 million for the final.
-- $3.75 million for winning the World Cup.

(In 2002, under the previous collective bargaining agreement, each player took home about $200,000 in bonuses for a World Cup effort that reached the quarterfinals.)

To repeat: I am under the assumption that the terms of the CBA call for larger bonuses this time around. These older numbers, however, should give you an idea of the financial ramifications of making the World Cup squad and helping the team progress in the tournament.

By Steve Goff  |  February 18, 2010; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , U.S. men's national team  
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Comments

Do the bonuses increase if AIG becomes a sponsor?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 18, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Goff, you're a machine...Fascinating stuff, great work.

Posted by: atrain1 | February 18, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Do the bonuses increase if AIG becomes a sponsor?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 18, 2010 1:33 PM

-----------------------------------------

Yes, but only for the USSF's upper management. And those checks get cut regardless of how the team performs in SA...

Posted by: Kenobi | February 18, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

clarification: Are those million dollar figures compounded? ie, 2.8 mil + 2.25 mil + 2.6 mil + 3 mil + 3.75 mil for WC win, meaning over 14.4 mil total for WC win?

Posted by: Logan_Circle | February 18, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Talk about "unearned" income! These players should be taxed at 80 percent or higher for exploiting workers for their immoral gains.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | February 18, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I thought i read somewhere that Gooch was one of the lowest earners at AC Milan at 500k euro yearly? He was earning more at Liege'?

Do you have an exact figure for him?

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | February 18, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much the USWNT makes since they win all the time?

Posted by: TheJim1 | February 18, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Thor, you're wrong -- these players should be paid just in Gatorade and surplus 2006 DCU Blackout playoff t-shirts!! They should be grateful that the USSF even lets them play! They are running the sport into the ground!

Posted by: fallschurch1 | February 18, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Money, we make it
'Fore we see it, you take it
Oh, make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
This ain't livin', This ain't livin'
No, no baby, this ain't livin'

Posted by: OWNTF | February 18, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The players and the USSF are in it TOGETHER! It's the Soccer Industrial Complex (SIC) at work. We need a Soccer Czar to put a stop to this immediately!

Not to mention SIC hates the environment!
http://www.causecast.org/news_items/8002-spoil-sports-7-activities-that-damage-the-environment

STOP SIC NOW!

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | February 18, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Now come on joerandaldocthor, I would have assume you would be all for an incentive-based pay scale. As for the taxes, they will be taxed at the rate set by the duly elected leaders of our democracy. Unless they do everything they can to find loopholes in the tax code and quasi-legal offshore tax shelters.

"I'm sorry, but I cannot divulge any information about that customer's secret, illegal account. [hangs up] Oh crap....."

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 18, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

But can you tell me which one is Pink?

Posted by: Tweaked | February 18, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, my thought was, I wonder if these figures are roughly the same in all the different countries? Because just as a few thousand bucks means more to Findley than Donovan, it would be a major windfall for some of the Hondurans, Africans etc. right?

Maybe FIFA stiffs the lower-income nations, so it's proportionally the same deal.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | February 18, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that the USSF's pot of money to spread around comes from FIFA's WC income from tv rights etc.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | February 18, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Do the bonuses increase if AIG becomes a sponsor?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 18, 2010 1:33 PM

-----------------------------------------

Yes, but only for the USSF's upper management. And those checks get cut regardless of how the team performs in SA...

Posted by: Kenobi | February 18, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

------------------

Yes, but Obama and Reid get naming rights to your first born son even if you give your bonus back.

Posted by: Atlanta4MLS | February 18, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Yet another reason to feel angry about the Gold Cup... Heath Pearce, Chad Marshall, Klejstan, I want my money back.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | February 18, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

it would be a major windfall for some of the Hondurans, Africans etc. right?

Maybe FIFA stiffs the lower-income nations, so it's proportionally the same deal.

Posted by: fallschurch1
------------------------
yup, that's why Malian players were threatening a strike at the last WC. Hugely embarrassing to the African and Malian federations. I was in a hotel once with the Nigerian u-23s the night before the African Cup final. The screaming, fighting, and breaking things (remuneration negotiations) lasted until dawn. Not surprisingly, the team came out flat and tired the next day and lost to Ghana.

Posted by: troy6 | February 18, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

If DMB makes the team, the bonus would almost pay for the repairs for his fire-bombed Beemer.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | February 18, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: OWNTF | February 18, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"Chicago Red Stars midfielder Megan Rapinoe will replace Atlanta Beat midfielder Tobin Heath on the United States' 2010 Algarve Cup roster. Heath is suffering from an illness, according to a US Soccer press release."

Posted by: OWNTF | February 18, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

If the bonus for being named to the WC roster is $37,500, then the bonus for being named to the Gold Cup roster must be about $37.50. However, it does appear that Freddy Adu got money for being on the Confederations Cup roster. And you guys say that Bradley doesn't like Freddy.

Posted by: jack35 | February 18, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Steve, what's your bonus for being named to the World Cup press corps?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | February 18, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse


no, the $3.75 mil was the cumulative total payout to the players (~$156k each) if they won the cup (not including the per game fees and per point bonuses).

HOWEVER,

even if the total payout from USSF this time is 100% more than last time (which it most likely isnt), while a super nice pay day its still less than 25% of the 1st place prize money FIFA will give to USSF.

See Below:

from http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/dec/03/world-cup-2010-prize-money


Fifa's general secretary, Jérôme Valcke, announced today that the prize money on offer had been increased 61% since the World Cup in Germany in 2006.

If Fabio Capello's side were to win the trophy they would receive a total of $31m (£18.7m). The runners-up will get $24m, semi-finalists $20m and the quarter-finalists $18m each. Teams that reach the second round will get $9m and even those eliminated in the group phase will receive $8m. Each team have already received $1m from Fifa towards their "preparation costs".

The bumper payouts from the most lucrative World Cup ever were revealed in the incongruous surroundings of the austere former prison hall on Robben Island, following an executive committee meeting in the infamous location where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were held during the apartheid era.

Valcke also confirmed plans to compensate clubs for the use of their players during the World Cup. "Every club who has a player at the World Cup will receive $1,600 per day, per player," Valcke said. "The money will be paid 15 days before the start of the tournament and to one day after the players' participation in the World Cup ends."

Posted by: Section107 | February 18, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

to clarify and correct, it would have been the $2.8m for getting to the round of sixteen plus the $2.25/$2.6/$3/$3.75 million for the later stages for a max payout of ~$276k per player for winning (plus the point bonuses).

Posted by: Section107 | February 18, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

So Rand-al-Thor is the liberal, tree-hugging side of Joe Doc?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 18, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see Rand-al-Thor came in from hugging trees to use vital energy to read this story and post a comment. Shouldn't you be using a typewriter to conserve energy? Soccer Industrial Complex? I fully expect that this is a joke and you are actually a soccer fan trying to be funny. If not, why are you waisting time on sport sites? Shouldn't you be out saving insects or telling people to use only one square of toilet paper when they wipe their butts? Anyway, Great article and go USA!

Posted by: USMNT4life | February 19, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Rand-al-Thor. Why are you waisting time?

Posted by: WorldCup | February 19, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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