USWNT Loss At World Cup Against Sweden Provides An Example Of Why Socialism Doesn’t Work In Sports: Dan Zaksheske

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What in the world does the U.S. Women’s National Team losing at the Women’s World Cup have to do with socialism? Lucky for you, I’m going to explain! The USWNT fought in court for “equal pay” between its members and the USMNT from U.S. Soccer.

As I’ve written in the past, though, the lawsuit had little to do with “equal pay” and more to do with “we want more money.”

As part of the deal, though, the USWNT and the USMNT must now split prize money. When the USMNT reached the knockout stage of the World Cup in November, it earned $13 million. Half of that — or $6.5 million — went the US Women’s team. For doing nothing.

The USWNT already got a fat paycheck thanks to the USMNT’s 2022 World Cup performance. (Photo by Doug Zimmerman /ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Because the men’s World Cup is far more popular globally than the women’s, the prizes are much larger. The USWNT won the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Combined, those wins earned $6 million.

So the team received more money thanks to the men reaching the Round of 16 than it did for winning back-to-back World Cup titles.

Now, FIFA has pushed for larger prizes on the women’s side. And, it is delivering on that promise. The total prize pool for the 2023 Women’s World Cup is $142 million. Of that pool, $10.5 million goes to the winning team.

Those are both records on the women’s side. However, the prize pool for the men was $440 million with $42 million going to champion Argentina.

So even if the USWNT had won the 2023 World Cup — which it obviously did not — it still would have earned $2.5 million less than the men.

The USWNT did not look good at the 2023 World Cup and they suffered their worst finish ever.
The USWNT did not look good at the 2023 World Cup and they suffered their worst finish ever. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

And thanks to getting bounced in the Round of 16, the team receives just $3.3 million. So the total prize pool for U.S. Soccer — which is split evenly between the USWNT and the USMNT — is $16.3 million.

The men’s team earned 80% of that money. But it only receives 50% of it. That seems fair, huh?

And that brings us back to the headline for this article. From a financial perspective, the 2015 and 2019 women’s teams relied on winning the World Cup to make money. The players were hungry. No surprise, those teams played far better.

But this year’s version already got paid. And, sure, the players wanted to win more money.

But they didn’t NEED to.

And their performance reflected that. The USWNT didn’t score a single goal in their final two World Cup matches. Not one.

Yet, after their shocking draw against Portugal that forced the team into playing Sweden in the Round of 16, they were dancing and smiling.

Why not?

This is not to say that the only reason the USWNT did not win the World Cup — or even advance out of the Round of 16 — is because of the prize-splitting policy.

But it sure is an interesting coincidence that the USWNT’s worst World Cup finish EVER came in the first World Cup since that decision came down.

Are they related? Maybe, maybe not.

Megan Rapinoe smiles after missing a potential game-winning kick for the USWNT at the World Cup because she's probably thinking about all the money the women already "earned" thanks to the USMNT.
Megan Rapinoe smiles after missing a potential game-winning kick for the USWNT at the World Cup because she’s probably thinking about all the money the women already “earned” thanks to the USMNT. (Photo by Robin Alam/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

But we know socialism doesn’t work. It especially doesn’t work in sports, the ultimate meritocracy.

Furthermore, if I were on the USMNT, I’d be pissed. The players have to give up half their prize money for this women’s team?

The same women’s team that practically didn’t even show up? Didn’t score a goal in two matches?

That’s not “equal pay.”

That’s the USWNT stealing money from the USMNT in the name of “progress.”

Great system, isn’t it?

Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.


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  1. Stealing really is the correct term. Just like the WNBA steals from the NBA every year. Some would call it subsidizing, but in each case, it was accomplished via coercion. In most industries, it would be considered a crime.

    • so your argument is because everyone’s doing it it makes it ok? No it called stealing in the name egalitarianism which is essentially what socialism is. It’s a system where people do not get what they deserve and those that rightfully deserve more are punished unfairly. It always leads to this outcome in every socialist system you jerk yourself off to.

  2. And in true socialism consequences, the men’s team will have less motivation to train, play, and win. Why spend all those hours training when half your earnings will be given away to those not winning. And the downward spiral will continue on and on and on. Until the best players go to MSL and don’t waste their time on the US team.

  3. Some people will play for their country out of pride, but I think we all know just about ZERO of the USWNT have anything but hatred for the USA, so it’s all about the $$$$ — I image the Swedes would have crawled across broken glass (for free) for a shot at beating the USA for the glory of Sweden, thus, they move on….

  4. Gee, the comments on here…so patriotic, as stated earlier, think of not just yourselves but of the millions of US kids that had to endure a brutal penalty shootout loss, the US had more chances but it didn’t work out by millimeters for whatever reason, they didn’t take away anyone’s right to mow on thursdays so no need to get all hateful

    • The article has nothing to do with the WNBA, but no one cared about that league long before they kneeled for the anthem. The women’s soccer team draws good tv ratings, even these last few games which were on at off hours, so people definitely do care about their product. So all the comments on here obsessing over the equal pay stuff which no one on here is responsible for funding are amusing given how angry all these folks get… it’s like they didn’t get enough golf on Saturday or better yet they did but just stunk it up

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