United Soccer League negotiates pay cuts with players

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With the soccer season up in the air because of the pandemic, there are talks of drastic pay-cuts for players in the United Soccer League, which includes New Mexico United. Their season should have started two months ago but the stands are still empty. Now, the United Soccer League (USL) is calling for pay reductions for players. One proposal included cuts that could have topped 60% for some higher-paid players, according to The Athletic.

The United Soccer League Players Associaton (USLPA) countered, offering to take 10% cuts on anything earned above $2,000 a month. In a statement, USLPA said many players already earn less than a livable wage.

New Mexico United Goalkeeper Cody Mizell shared the USLPA statement on Twitter and lots of fans have chimed in on social media, sharing the message #standwiththeplayers. “When the league put forward their proposal, I thought it was a little bit of a slap in the face to the players if I’m being honest,” David Carl said. Carl is the president and co-founder of the NM United fan club, The Curse New Mexico.

“The interesting difference between the USL and the [Major League Soccer], for example, is that they’re not required to disclose those salaries, so we don’t know exactly what the salaries for the players are,” Carl explained. “With that said, because there is not a minimum salary in the USL, I mean, you could see players making less than $20,000 a year. It happens.”

Wednesday, sources tell The Athletic that the league has softened its stance, proposing 30% cuts on any dollar above the first $1,500 of monthly wages. They also say they would only guarantee two weeks of severance pay if the season is canceled.

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