How Much Do USL Players Make? (Breaking Down USL Salary)

As much as you found the USL exciting, you would love to know about players’ salaries. The United Soccer League (USL) is a growing professional soccer league that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Each team has incredibly made sure they can attract top talents, but do they have the financial power compared to the major league soccer or other top leagues?

However; In this post, I will break down the salaries of USL players which will include the minimum and maximum salaries. Plus, the role of performance incentives in USL player contracts. Let’s face It.

How Much Do USL Players Make? ( A Breakdown by Position and Experience )

Salaries in the USL can depend on different factors, like a player’s position on the field to their years of experience in the league. In this section, you will learn about average USL player salaries broken down by position and experience level.


Goalkeepers are often considered the backbone of a soccer team while protecting their team’s lead. The average goalkeeper’s salary in the USL league is around $35,000 per year. However, this depends on a goalkeeper’s experience level and performance on the field.

For example, a starting goalkeeper with years of experience in the league with a track record of success will earn significantly more than a rookie goalkeeper.


Defenders play a crucial role in the team’s defense, stopping the opposing team from scoring goals. In the USL, the average salary of a defender is around $35,000 per year.

Like with goalkeepers, a defender’s salary can vary based on their experience level and performance.

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The players that establish the tempo of the game are the midfielders, who work to advance the ball up the field and create scoring opportunities for their team. The typical midfielder in the USL earns about $35,000 annually.

So, midfielders with exceptional talent or experience could make a lot more money.


One of the most crucial players on the pitch is the forward or a striker since they are the ones that score goals. The average forward wage in the USL is close to $40,000.

However, much as with the other positions, this might differ substantially depending on factors like performance and experience.

Experience Level

The level of experience a player possesses could be an important consideration in determining salary along with the position. Rookies and younger players in the USL typically make less money than experienced veterans.

A goalie with little experience would make roughly $25,000 annually, but a goalkeeper with years of experience might make up to $50,000 annually.

Overall, USL player wages can vary considerably depending on several variables, but possibly this breakdown helps you better understand what to expect from players in different positions and with different levels of experience.

The Minimum and Maximum Salaries in the USL

In this section, you will learn about the current minimum and maximum salaries in the USL, as well as how they have changed over time.

Minimum Salaries in the USL

As of 2022, a USL player earns at least $22,000 annually. This shows the league’s continuing growth and success, as seen by the modest rise from the previous year.

However, this figure seems low in comparison to other professional sports leagues, the USL is still a young league that is attempting to make a name for itself in North American soccer.

Maximum Salaries in the USL

The USL does not have a specified maximum wage, in contrast to the minimum salary. Instead, players may iron out a contract with their clubs that would pay them a salary that is much more than the league minimum.

Although the highest-paid USL players are often the ones who have achieved significant success within the league, they can earn up to $70,000 annually.

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How Do Minimum And Maximum Salaries Change Over Time?

Both the minimum and maximum salary could increase over time as the USL grows and becomes more well-known.

There have been plans in recent years to improve the conditions for league players, including more money and greater benefits.

Additionally, there could be more chances for players to get paid more in the future due to the league’s development into new areas and the possibility of increased income.

Factors That Affect USL Salaries

For instance, in compensation talks, a player’s position, experience level, and on-field performance may all be important factors.

Additionally, certain clubs could provide players with extra perks and privileges, such as housing or travel reimbursements, which can affect overall wages.

The Role of Performance Incentives in USL Player Contracts

The USL minimum and maximum salary provide a starting point for player earnings, but many players are also able to increase their annual earnings through performance-based bonuses in their contracts.

These incentives are often linked to specific on-field achievements like scoring goals, collecting assists, or maintaining clean sheets.

However, the role of performance incentives in USL player contracts and how they can impact player pay will be covered in this section.

Types of Performance Incentives

The specific performance incentives included in USL player contracts can vary from team to team and from player to player. Some common examples of performance incentives include:

  • Goal bonuses: This type of performance Incentive is for strikers or forward, more goals, more money.
  • Assist bonuses: Players with the highest assists for their respective teams are likely to see an increment in their salary.
  • Clean sheet bonuses: This is basically for goalies, the more clean sheets you keep, the more money you will make.
  • Appearance bonuses: Some players tend to be the engine of a team, you might not be a goal scorer or a keeper, but your work rate for the team will help you make more appearances, and more appearance means money.

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However, these are just a few examples of performance incentives that might be included in USL player contracts. The specific incentives offered can depend on the player’s position, experience level, and past performance.

Impact on Player Earnings

For many USL players, performance incentives can be a key source of additional income. If a player meets the performance benchmarks set out in their contract, they can earn bonuses during the season.

This can be especially valuable for players who may not be earning significant amounts in base salary.

Potential Drawbacks

While performance incentives can be a valuable addition to USLplayer’ss salaries, they are not without their drawbacks.

Performance incentives can pressurize players to perform at a high level, and this could be stressful and potentially detrimental to their mental health.

Also, if a player is unable to meet the performance benchmarks set out in their contract, they will miss out on potential earnings that could have added more money to their salary.

That being said, while determining how much money USL players make, it’s crucial to take into account the role that performance incentives play in their contracts.

While these incentives could be a useful way to earn extra money, they could come with disadvantages and difficulties.

The benefits and downsides of performance incentives should be considered with how they could impact players’ long-term financial viability, as with any other professional sports-related decision.


So, how much do USL players make? As I have shared with you, the amount of money USL players make varies with different factors like position on the field, experience level, and performance.

According to Insider, a player earns a minimum of $22,000 annually while there is no maximum amount they can earn.