Photograph: Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images
Mallory Swanson has signed the largest contract in NWSL history after agreeing a new deal with the Chicago Red Stars.
The USWNT forward’s contract is for four years, with an option for a fifth, and is worth $2m, according to ESPN. Swanson’s deal marks the first four-year contract in NWSL history. Mexico winger Maria Sanchez makes more per year than Swanson, but her three-year deal with Houston Dash is worth $1.5m in total. Swanson’s USWNT teammate Trinity Rodman signed a four-year, $1.1m contract with the Washington Spirit in 2022.
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“I am excited to be back with the Red Stars. These last few years have been such a blessing in Chicago, even with the ups and downs, and I can’t wait to be back,” Swanson said in a statement. “I am looking forward to getting to work and helping the team win championships. See everyone soon!”
The NWSL recently signed a $240m, four-year broadcasting deal with CBS Sports, ESPN, Prime Video and Scripps Sports. That, along with higher attendances, has allowed the league to increase its salary cap by 40% to $2.75m per team for the coming season, which starts in March.
Swanson made her international debut for the US as a 17-year-old in 2016 and won the World Cup in 2019. The 25-year-old has scored 32 goals in 88 appearances for her country, but missed last year’s World Cup through injury. She joined the Red Stars in 2021.
“The Red Stars could not be more excited that Mallory Swanson has decided to extend her career with us here in Chicago,” said the Chicago Red Stars president, Karen Leetzow. “Mallory exemplifies the grit, focus and resiliency of our franchise and is an anchor for this team. Mal is a born leader on and off the field and I look forward to working with her to make the Red Stars a championship team.”
Chicago sports have been good to the Swansons: her husband, Dansby, signed a seven-year, $177m contract with the Cubs in 2022.