The U.S. Soccer Federation has released its latest tax filing for the 2019 fiscal year, revealing that the highest-paid coach in that period was deposed U.S. men's national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann.
The Form 990 covers the period from April 1 of 2018 to the end of March of 2019, though a USSF spokesperson stated that the salary figures cover the 2018 calendar year.
The figures show that the USSF paid three different individuals related to coaching the U.S. men during that time. Klinsmann earned $1.475 million, the final payout for the five-year contract he signed in December of 2013, even though he was fired in November of 2016. Dave Sarachan -- who coached the team on a caretaker basis through most of 2018 -- earned a base salary of just over $240,000. Gregg Berhalter, who took over the team in late 2018, made a total of just over $304,000. But $200,000 of that came in the form of a signing bonus, with the remaining $104,000 covering just a single month of work as well as moving expenses. Extrapolating that amount out reveals that Berhalter's annual salary is in excess of $1m per year.
U.S. women's national team manager Jill Ellis, who secured a spot in the 2019 Women's World Cup during 2018, earned a base salary of $389,409 in 2018. That amounted to a 33.8% raise over the previous period, but still stands in stark contrast to the amounts earned by Klinsmann and Berhalter. Ellis' compensation for 2019, when she led the U.S. women to their second consecutive World Cup title, will be included in next year's filing. Ellis did receive a raise ahead of the World Cup that was estimated to put her annual salary at $500,000.
The highest-paid players listed in the filing are U.S. women's national team players Alex Carrasco (née Morgan) and Carli Hollins (nee Lloyd) who each earned base salaries of $171,140 and bonuses of $142,250. No men's national team players were present in the filing's list of the top wage earners in the USSF.
The release of the tax filing comes against the backdrop of the class action gender discrimination suit filed by 28 players from the U.S. women's national team against the USSF, alleging inequitable compensation and support compared to the men's team. The men's and women's national teams have separate players unions and thus separate collective bargaining agreements with the USSF. Recently the union representing players from the U.S. men's national team voiced their support for the women's team's fight for equal pay.
The highest paid full-time employees were CEO Dan Flynn ($899,440 salary, bonus and other compensation) and Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer Jay Berhalter ($779,765 in salary and bonus). Flynn retired last September while Berhalter -- the brother of Gregg Berhalter -- will leave his position at the end of the month.
Outwardly, the overall financial health of the USSF took a mild hit during the 2019 fiscal year. Net assets fell by $14m to $148.38m. While total revenue was down slightly from $123m to $115m, expenses increased almost $20m from $112.7m to $131.8m. But USSF president Carlos Cordeiro said during a Board of Directors meeting back in December that the plan had been for the USSF to engage in deficit spending to fund various programs. That approach is reflected in the filing's numbers.
In addition to the equal pay lawsuit, the USSF is currently involved in litigation involving a similar lawsuit filed by former U.S. women's international Hope Solo, an anti-trust suit involving the North American Soccer League, an anti-trust lawsuit from sports promoter Relevent Sports over the sanctioning of league games in the U.S. involving foreign teams, as well as a lawsuit from the U.S. Soccer Foundation over use of the foundation's name and logo. That said, some of these lawsuits were filed after the period in question. Legal fees for the 2019 fiscal year amounted to $1.5m.
Similar to the 2018 document, a line item under "Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons" references MLS commissioner and Soccer United Marketing CEO Don Garber, who also sits on the USSF board of directors. For this period, the payment from SUM to the USSF was $28,499,999.