Before stepping down in the fall of 2019, Ellis had a base salary of $516,352 — the largest for a women’s national team coach in the world — and 32 percent higher than her 2018 figure of $390,000. Her bonus for winning the World Cup in France was more than double what she received after her first world title in 2015.
She also collected a $2,000 bonus for unspecified reasons and about $28,000 in other compensation for a total of $746,623. England’s Phil Neville was believed to be second in the women’s game in 2019, at an estimated $420,000.
Ellis’s successor, Vlatko Andonovski, had not held the job long enough to appear on the 2019 list of the USSF’s highest-compensated employees, but industry experts estimated his base salary is between $250,000 and $300,000.
Gregg Berhalter, the U.S. men’s coach, was the USSF’s highest-paid employee in 2019, his first full year, with a base salary of $1.22 million and overall compensation of $1.33 million.
Jurgen Klinsmann, who led the squad from 2011 to 2016, made more than $3 million per year, and Bruce Arena was at about $1.6 million in 2017.
A USSF spokesman said Friday the organization did not want to comment on the men’s and women’s coaching pay scales.
Most of the 23 players also received about $185,000 to play throughout the year for the national team and a National Women’s Soccer League club, bringing their federation earnings to about $470,000.
Only five players are listed in the tax documents, but that is typical when most of the squad earns about the same.
Global data is not available, and because the soccer federation subsidizes many NWSL salaries, it’s difficult to compare U.S. earnings to elite female players making most of their money from clubs.
The U.S. women have been locked in a long-standing legal battle with the federation over pay equity. However, the teams have different collective bargaining agreements: The women are on salary while the men receive payments for appearances.
For example, in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the national teams for at least eight months, the women continued to receive base salaries for nine international matches, plus reduced NWSL activity, while the men only collected for four international games.
No men’s players were on the 2019 list of highest-paid USSF employees; none received more than $200,000 from the federation, said a person familiar with the payouts, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss the documents. The men’s team played several friendlies and participated in the Concacaf Gold Cup and Nations League.
The men, though, are eligible for far higher bonuses when advancing deep in a World Cup. FIFA, the sport’s world governing body, decides how much to award federations, which in turn pay the players. In 2018, the French federation received $38 million for winning the men’s title; a year later, the USSF collected $4 million for the women’s championship.
Following Berhalter, the USSF’s top earner in 2019 was chief executive Dan Flynn at $759,782, including a $212,000 bonus. Specifics of the bonus were not disclosed; a USSF spokesman said it was for “contracted bonuses dependent on performance.”
Sporting director Earnie Stewart was next at $753,761, followed by Ellis and Berhalter’s brother, Jay, the chief commercial officer, at $650,954. Flynn and Jay Berhalter left the USSF last year.
Tab Ramos, the under-20 men’s coach and youth technical director, made almost as much as the women’s players, receiving $455,707 for 10 months of work before becoming coach of MLS’s Houston Dynamo.
In separate audited financial statements, the USSF spent about $56.5 million on the women’s program over a two-year period and returned about $48 million in revenue. The men’s team expenses were $30.6 million and revenue was $28.3 million in a two-year period that, unlike the women, did not include World Cup qualifying and the World Cup.