U.S. pro and youth clubs share largest FIFA payout from Women's World Cup solidarity fund

FIFA handed out $789,960 to 59 U.S. clubs -- nine pro clubs from the NWSL and 50 youth clubs -- as part of the $8.46 million distributed to clubs that trained and released players for the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.

FIFA: Women’s World Cup Club Solidarity Fund 2019

The USA received the most money. England and France were second and third with $734,720 and $704,650, respectively. In all, 822 clubs from 39 countries around the world shared in the funds.

The NWSL's Portland Thorns received the most amount of any U.S. club with $84,200. (French club Lyon, Europe's dominant team, led all clubs in the world with payments of $178,770.)

The top three payments to U.S. youth clubs were:

-- Arizona's Sereno Soccer Club, now known as Real Salt Lake Arizona (Julie Ertz, Jessica McDonald), $15,350;
-- Real Colorado (Mallory Pugh, Janine Beckie), $13,180;
-- New York's Albertson Soccer Club (Crystal Dunn, Allie Long), $10,230.

The smallest payment to a U.S. youth club was the $750 New York's Auburndale Soccer Club received. Jamaican keeper Nicole McClure grew up in Jamaica (Queens) and played for Auburndale.

That U.S. clubs shared in the highest rewards was expected as all 23 players on the champion U.S. national team played for NWSL clubs and grew up in the U.S. youth system. (Payments were based on how many days players were at the World Cup so the clubs of players from the USA and the Netherlands, the two finalists, received the highest amounts.)

In addition, Australia and Canada stacked their squads with NWSL players, and almost two dozen players on other World Cup teams -- mostly Jamaican-Americans -- had ties to U.S. youth clubs.

To recognize the contributions of clubs at which 2019 Women’s World Cup players were developed and currently play, FIFA created the Women’s World Cup Club Solidarity Fund as part of the $50 million in moneys it committed to paying out for France 2019.

The amounts in the Women’s World Cup Club Solidarity Fund were divided 50/50  -- one half of the money to a player’s current club -- the releasing club reward -- and the other half -- the training club reward -- to the clubs where she “spent her formative years between the ages of 12 to 22.”

A Soccer America investigation revealed youth clubs didn't become aware of the program until long after the application deadline. U.S. Soccer had to work with FIFA to get clarity about the new program and assemble records of the training clubs of World Cup players.

FIFA also rewarded men's clubs for the participation of their players in the 2018 World Cup, only there was a lot more money involved: $209 million. (Ten MLS clubs shared $3,737,722.50 in rewards.)

FIFA distributed the women's money to the 39 federations at the end of December 2019, informing them about the individual amounts and their responsibility for distributing the funds to the eligible clubs.

FIFA has requested that all funds be used for youth and development programs for women and girls -- even if the eligible club only has men’s or boys teams.

9 comments about "U.S. pro and youth clubs share largest FIFA payout from Women's World Cup solidarity fund".
  1. Bob Ashpole, July 14, 2020 at 7:42 a.m.

    This story is probably going to frustrate youth clubs that didn't receive payments from the 2018 men's $209 million pot.

  2. R2 Dad, July 14, 2020 at 10:15 a.m.

    MLS has done very little to promote the actual development of players below the age of 15. Experts agree a huge chunk of development occurs before the age of 12. The fact that ALL of the money goes to MLS is unfair. Don't expect USSF to care or do anything to rectify this.

  3. chris keenan, July 14, 2020 at 10:40 a.m.

    Well said.  I just had a player from my Club Kalamazoo Kingdom sign and move to an MLS Academy which is good and I helped with the process and I have another ready to commit and move in August.  Even though the kids are 15 and 16 I do not believe we get listed on their player passports.  USSF needs to be inclusive to all Clubs.

  4. Wallace Wade, July 14, 2020 at 12:39 p.m.

    But....not a dime for The Dallas Texans or Cossfire Premier???? Sounds fair

  5. Santiago 1314 replied, July 14, 2020 at 8:39 p.m.

    Crossfire got some Women's Money... Go Figure.?!?!?

  6. Santiago 1314, July 14, 2020 at 1:01 p.m.

    This Smells so Fishy.!!! How much did USSF "Siphon Off" or Hide.??? ... Like MLS keeping all Foreign Transfer Fees, in Cahoots with USSF  ... Please get us a List from USSF ... Thanks

  7. Santiago 1314 replied, July 14, 2020 at 8:42 p.m.

    The List is in the RED FIFA HyperLink ; you have to Scroll Down to find the Clubs... Looks Legit.!! !.... SHOCKING.!!!

  8. Brian Seifert, July 14, 2020 at 4:54 p.m.

    If parents are paying training fees to clubs for their child to play, why does the club receive money?

  9. Walker Wright, July 15, 2020 at 12:17 p.m.

    This should be a major issue for MLS/SUM/USSF to fix. The money HAS to trickle down. We need public statements from MLS and USSF on what they are doing (and/or not doing) on this issue and why. 

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