The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has revealed a number of new rules for the 2020 season, including sizeable improvements to both the salary cap and compensation guidelines.

Last season, the minimum salary for a player in the NWSL was just over $16,000, but league officials have long been looking at ways to increase funding to the women's game.

Merritt Mathias

The NWSL took to their ​official website to confirm that, beginning in 2020, the old salary cap will be abolished, and women playing in the league must now earn anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000, while teams may now spending $650,000 on their entire squad's salary - a 19.33% increase from last season.

Thanks to the introduction of allocation money, teams will also be able to invest funds in current or future players in excess of their salary cap. Teams can apply for up to $300,000 worth of extra funding, and can use this to sign players in excess of the salary cap as long as they meet certain criteria, such as for a recent NSWL MVP winner.

This allocation money can also be used to pay transfer fees for any new players, and there are no limits on how many players can be bought throughout the season.

There will also be a major overhaul to player contracts. There will now be no limit to the number of guaranteed contracts which a team can offer, and those contracts now no longer permitted to include 'additional work', such as performing at camps.

One of the biggest changes comes with the removal of the cap for teams to assist players with their housing and auto expenses. Starting from 2020, all players on a team's senior or supplemental roster will have a house provided for them, either directly or indirectly through the allocation of housing funds.


Finally, teams may now have up to three players on their discovery list, except for the period between the day after the NWSL Championship and the day before the first match of the following NWSL regular season, when they are allowed seven players on the list.

After a 30 day period, which starts the day following a player’s placement on a team’s discovery list, if another team submits a discovery request for the same player, the team with the player on their discovery list must submit a player agreement form to the league within 14 days of being notified by the NWSL of a competing discovery request.

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