The U.S. Women's Soccer team plays Japan for the gold medal today. But they'll also be playing for a whole lot of CASH.
--Sunil Gulati is the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. And he announced yesterday that if Team U.S.A. wins, they'll split a bonus of $1.5 million.
--There are 18 players on the roster . . . but Sunil said he expects them to share the money with their trainers, and reserve players who didn't make the Olympic team.
--Assuming they split it equally and give the trainers and reserves a full share, each player will get $50,000. That's on top of the $25,000 bonus the U.S. Olympic Committee gives any athlete that wins gold.
--Yes, they'd have to pay taxes on their bonus. And they get a smaller bonus if they win the silver . . . but Sunil didn't say how much it was.
--$75,000 sounds like a lot . . . and it is. But it's a BARGAIN compared to how much other countries pay their gold medal winners.
--Italy pays the most . . . each of their gold medalists gets $182,400. Russia comes in second . . . each gold medalist gets $135,000.
--France pays $65,200 . . . Japan pays $35,900 . . . China pays $31,400 . . . Canada and Germany pay around $20,000.
--Host country Great Britain has 22 gold medalists . . . but they're not paying their athletes ANY bonus.