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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

USWNT Co-Captain Calls for Higher NWSL Salary Cap

  • USWNT co-captain Lindsey Horan thinks the NWSL has to grow its salary cap to compete with European teams for top players.
  • She spoke to Front Office Sports Today about that and her preparation for the Women's World Cup.
United States of America midfielder Lindsey Horan (10) headed the ball against Wales during the first half at PayPal Park.
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

USWNT co-captain Lindsey Horan has played in both the NWSL and France’s top league, Division 1 Féminine, and she feels that although America’s top women’s league is on the right track, it needs to do more to compete on the international stage.

“The NWSL is getting better and better, but it’s not good enough, because a lot of teams cannot do what certain teams [in Europe] can in terms of money,” Horan said on Front Office Sports Today.

Horan was the first American woman to sign a professional contract straight out of high school when she signed with Paris Saint-Germain. She moved to the NWSL’s Portland Thorns from 2016-2022 before heading back across the Atlantic to play for her current team, Lyon. Lyon paid the Thorns $280,000 plus a potential $56,000 bonus to secure the deal.

“In terms of the salary cap, I think that obviously should change if you want some of the best players in the world to come play in our league,” Horan said, referring to the NWSL.

This year, the NWSL raised its salary cap to $1.38 million from $1.1 million. NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman said in January that teams are “doubling or tripling their investment” in player salaries, as well as in staff and facilities.

Horan sees the global trend moving in the right direction. 

“The clubs are actually putting in time and money,” she noted. “You see what FC Barcelona is doing. It’s exciting. I think that’s great for female soccer players in general because you have this interest from all over the world, and you actually get to choose [where you go], and it’s not just everything’s up in the air.”

With one World Cup win under her belt, Horan knows what it takes to ascend soccer’s highest peak.

“The 23 players that were there [in 2019] and every single thing that we did, the journey, the training sessions, the preparation, all the meetings – it was strenuous …. Looking back, when you finally lift that trophy, we knew that this was possible because of everything that we put into winning this.”

For more on our daily podcast covering the influence of sports on business and culture, listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, and Spotify. Also, you can follow us on Twitter. 

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