The US women’s soccer team’s disastrous performance at the World Cup came with one silver lining — a record $3.25 million paycheck.
The seven-figure payout comes as a result of a 2019 agreement the USWNT struck with the US Soccer Federation that guaranteed the women’s team equal pay to their male counterparts.
The two teams now split their prize money 50-50 from their respective World Cups.
Under the the agreement, players receive 90% of the payout while the federation keeps 10%.
During the USWNT’s 2022-2023 run to the tournament held in Australia and New Zealand — which ended with its stunning ouster against Sweden in the quarterfinals — the squad raked in $7.3 million, according to Fortune.
Despite the earliest exit in the team’s history, the windfall was the largest ever for the two-time defending champions for the women’s tournament.
Team made its earliest-ever exit from the World Cup tournament after they lost a penalty shootout, though the women scored their largest payout of $3.25 million, according to Fortune.
The players also collected even fatter paychecks after the US men’s team earned $13 million from their quarterfinal run in the World Cup last November. The equal-pay deal shipped $5.85 million to the USWNT and $650,000 to the federation.
The multimillion-dollar difference is the result of significantly greater prize money given out for the men’s tournament because of its global popularity.
The women’s team generated more controversy than goals before flaming out after a scoreless draw that was decided by penalty kicks — in which longtime star Megan Rapinoe flubbed her shot.
The starting players were criticized after several apparently refused to sing the national anthem before the start of their matches. Rapinoe came under fire for smirking after missing her penalty kick in the final game.
Ironically, it’s because of Rapinoe’s very public battle for equal pay in the sport that she and her teammates are walking away with a sizable consolation prize.
Rapinoe has been a lightning rod throughout her career. She refused a White House trip after the team’s victory at the 2019 World Cup, and began kneeling during the national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick in 2015.
Donald Trump took a pot shot at Rapinoe, a longtime critic of the 45th president, after their loss to Sweden.
“Many of our players were openly hostile to America – No other country behaved in such a manner, or even close,” Trump posted on Truth Social. “WOKE EQUALS FAILURE.”
“Nice shot Megan, the USA is going to Hell!!!! MAGA.”
Megyn Kelly blamed Rapinoe for being the ringleader of the anti-American sentiment.
“She’s poisoned the entire team against the country for which they play,” Kelly said.