One woman cracked Forbes’ 2023 list of the world’s highest-paid athletes — tennis great Serena Williams, who brought in $45.3 million in her final year of competitive play. She retired from her magnificent career in 2022 as the highest-paid female athlete ever with $450 million in earnings on and off the court, Sportico reported.
The focus this month has been on soccer and the FIFA Women’s World Cup, played once every four years. And while members of the U.S. Women’s National Team spent six years fighting to earn pay equal to their male counterparts, some of the women have managed to build healthy nest eggs on their earnings and, primarily, endorsements.
Just how much does a professional female soccer player make? Who are some of the richest female American players, and which are poised to climb the net worth list? Read on to find out.
Net worth: $40 million
Mia Hamm set the standard for the U.S. Women’s National Team in the 1990s and early 2000s. She joined the team at age 15 and went on to a storied international career, winning three Olympic medals — two of them gold — and two World Cup titles. In her international career, she scored 158 goals in 276 games. During her career, she earned millions in endorsements, representing companies such as Gatorade and Nike, and today she is an investor in Angel City FC of the National Women’s Soccer League. She and her husband, retired major league baseball player Nomar Garciaparra, also hold ownership in the Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer.
Celebrity Net Worth combined the net worths of Hamm and Garciaparra in making its $40 million estimate.
Net worth: $5 million
Megan Rapinoe, a soccer legend, played her first game with the USWNT on July 23, 2006, and concluded her international career in the 2023 World Cup. Earlier in the year, she announced this would be her final tour with the national team and also her retirement from the OL Reign of the NWSL at the end of the season. An activist for many causes, she also has high earning power, bringing in $7 million in the past year, all but $700,000 off the field.
Net worth: $4 million
New Yorker Abby Wambach replaced Hamm as the face of American soccer in the early 2000s and also overtook her record for most international goals scored. In all, Wambach played in 255 international games for the USWNT between 2001 and 2015 and scored 184 goals, 26 more than Hamm. Like Hamm, she was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Net worth: $3 million
Julie Ertz took some time off from her duties with the USWNT to give birth to her first child last August but returned to the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Known as a tough defender, she has formidable earning power, too. Forbes estimated that she earned $2 million in the past year, with $1.3 million from deals with companies such as Subway and Spotify. Her husband, Zach Ertz, is a tight end with the Arizona Cardinals. She also plays for Angel City FC of the NWSL.
Net worth: $3 million
A member of four World Cup teams and a three-time Olympian, Alex Morgan is signed to play with the San Diego Wave of the NWSL through the 2025 season. A popular endorser for companies including BodyArmor and Michelob Ultra, Morgan made only $800,000 of her estimated $7.1 million in earnings in the past year from playing soccer, Forbes reported.
Net worth: $2.5 million
Brandi Chastain forever will be remembered for striking the match-winning penalty kick to lead the U.S. to a win over China in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final in Pasadena, California. The lasting image of the tournament was of a jubilant Chastain celebrating the moment on the pitch, ripping off her jersey and baring her black sports bra to the world. At the time, she had to deny allegations that her celebratory moment was nothing more than an ad for Nike, with whom she had an endorsement deal.
Net worth: $2 million
Carli Lloyd is another American with a double-double in soccer: two Olympic gold medals and two World Cup championships. In fact, in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she was named the top player of the tournament after leading the U.S. to the title with a hat trick vs. Japan in the final. Working as an analyst for Fox Sports at this year’s World Cup, Lloyd drew attention for her comments critical of the USWNT.
The Next Generation
Before the start of this year’s Women’s World Cup, Forbes took a look at the highest earners among the competitors, and Morgan and Rapinoe topped the list. But considering Forbes’ figures, the earning potential is bright for the next generation of American women, two of them in particular. It’s possible one of them, one day, could be the answer to the question, “Who is the highest-paid female soccer player?”
Among them is Trinity Rodman, 21, whom Forbes said signed a four-year, $1.1 million contract with the Washington Spirit, making it the biggest deal in NWSL history. Her on-field earnings of $800,000 are nearly doubled by those off the field, with Rodman earning money through partnerships with companies that include Adidas, per Forbes.
Sophia Smith, 23, also has huge earning potential. She was named the most valuable player in the NWSL in 2022 after leading the Portland Thorns to the league title. Harnessing the power of her social media — she has nearly 300,000 Instagram followers — Smith is an influencer for companies such as BioSteel and Ally Financial, Forbes reported. Over the past year, her earnings totaled $2 million, with $1.2 million of it coming via partnerships.
Net worth figures were sourced from Celebrity Net Worth.
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- CNN. 2023. "Female soccer players earn 25 cents to the dollar of men at World Cup, new CNN analysis finds."
- U.S. Soccer. 2023. "U.S. Women’s National Team Legend Megan Rapinoe Announces Retirement From Professional Soccer At End Of 2023 NWSL Season."
- Forbes. 2023. "The Highest-Paid Players At The 2023 Women’s World Cup."
- Today. 2023. "Carli Lloyd responds after backlash to her criticism of the US women’s national soccer team."