Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
NWSL: Players take first step toward union recognition
by Paul Kennedy, May 15th, 2017 5:34PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  nwsl


Non-allocated players in the National Women’s Soccer League -- players whose contracts aren't funded by U.S. Soccer or the Canadian Soccer Association -- ratified the formation of the NWSL Players Association by an overwhelming majority.

The NWSL is unique in that it has several class of players: U.S. national team players represented by their own players association, a smaller group of Canadian national team players, and non-allocated players. NWSL teams also use amateur players to fill out their teams during roster shortages (primarily due to international call-ups).

Pay and working conditions of NWSL players have been an issue in the young league. In 2017, the team salary cap for non-allocated players is only $315,000 and the maximum salary is $41,700. The minimum salary was more than doubled to ... $15,000.

The NWSL attracts almost all the top American players but retaining them in the long term is an issue because of the low pay. FC Kansas City, for one, won back-to-back NWSL titles in 2014 and 2015 but its roster has been depleted because of retirements: defenders Leigh Ann Brown and Amy LePeilbet and midfielder Lauren Holiday after the 2015 season, Jen Buczkowski in May 2016 and Frances Silva after the 2016 season.

The next step will be for the NWSL to recognize the players association. If the league chooses not to, the players association will have to petition the National Labor Relations Board for recognition and the right to bargain over pay and working conditions.

Several labor law issues arise, given the unique nature of how NWSL teams form their rosters. What's the appropriate bargaining unit for NWSL players among the allocated and non-allocated players? Does the NLRB consider amateur players "employees" for the purposes of including them in the players association? Should those amateur players -- periodic fill-ins -- be paid?

The spokesperson for the NWSL Players Association is former WUSA and WPS player Meghann Burke, an attorney at law firm Brazil & Burke, based in Asheville, North Carolina.

The NWSL Players Association issued the following statement:

“We are proud to announce the official formation of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Players Association. We, the Non-Allocated Players of NWSL, vow to build on the opportunity that has been afforded to us, as well as work to achieve those goals that have not yet been attained. We honor the vision and progress of those who came before us...Pledge to work with the League and Allocated Players to advance continued improvements in women's soccer...Commit ourselves to doing all in our power for the betterment of our members so that we may best contribute to the common goal: a world-class product on the field, and to be role models and inspire the next generation off the field.”

"Membership in the Association is limited to all active, Non-Allocated Players in the NWSL, including all amateur players currently on NWSL rosters. Allocated NWSL players are not included because they are separately represented by associations set up under the auspices of their respective national teams.  However, the Association will work with those players to achieve goals common to all players in the NWSL and women’s soccer in general.

"The formation of the Association is a first and important step toward forming an official players union for Non-Allocated NWSL players.  In addition to serving as the voice of the Non-Allocated Player pool, the Association will strive to build a collaborative working relationship with the NWSL Front Office and will work to improve communication among all players.

  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: May 16, 2017 at 8:33 a.m.
    Here is when a union is bad. I used to love hostess cup cakes. They tried to unionize the company said they could not afford it. They struck against the company. The company went out of business all their employees were let go. Some time later someone bought the company name reopened it in a non union state with all different employees. Now their open again, but the cup cakes are smaller and they don't taste the same. ------ unless the product is a good product so they can charge more for tickets and people well pay it. If the people don't think the product is worth the money then the league will go out of business. Then the players will just be doing clinic for young players for peanuts.
  1. Ben Myers
    commented on: May 16, 2017 at 10:53 a.m.
    Minimum salary $15000? Pathetic! How can a woman afford to play in the NWSL. Ridiculous. Below minimum wage.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: May 16, 2017 at 7:15 p.m.
    What you can't live on a 150 k a season? Remember they are not playing the whole year. What minimum wage again? It's not 150 thousand a year.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: May 17, 2017 at 11:41 a.m.
    Did he mean 15 thousand that is bad.if true. When the MLS started it was somewhere in the 27 thousand dollar range range. In American professional football at that time you saw all pro players waiting tables. In the 1940s good money was considered 10 thousand a year. You would be in the upper middle class. In the 40s you could pay your rent on 25 a mouth. A good raise was 20 cents an hour.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Chinese FA     
"The football pitch is not a religious place and hosting such activities on a public sports ...
What They're Saying: MLS Players Union    
"To hear the President of the United States single out certain professional athletes and call for ...
Report: NYCFC will submit Belmont Park stadium proposal    
About to wrap up its third season at Yankee Stadium, Newsday reported that MLS's New York ...
MLS Power Rankings: Toronto FC stumbles but stays top    
Toronto FC's long unbeaten streak finally came to an end but Eastern Conference rival Atlanta United ...
Christian Pulisic hype train leaves Madrid station    
Until now, the European media have been rather cautious about heaping praise on Christian Pulisic. But ...
Soccer America Men's College Top 25    
Held to a 0-0 draw at Michigan State in a battle of unbeatens, Maryland stayed No. ...
Video Pick: Chelsea stars join trick-shot troupe    
Gary Cahill, Marcos Alonso and Alvaro Morata join Dude Perfect for a series of trick-shot challenges ...
Soccer broadcasters unite for 'Unidos por los Nuestros'    
Five networks -- Azteca America, beIN Sports, ESPN, FOX and Fusion TV -- will join with ...
Soccer America Women's College Top 25    
UCLA, Stanford and Penn State remained 1-2-3 in the Soccer America Women's College 25 rankings. North ...
Hex Files: Honduras calls up four MLS players    
Head coach Jorge Luis Pinto has called up 26 players for what he termed "life or ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives