Ramsey: Switchbacks Filled with Soccer Athletes Just Trying to Earn a Living

By Ramsey, David | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), April 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

Ramsey: Switchbacks Filled with Soccer Athletes Just Trying to Earn a Living


Ramsey, David, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


At Security Service Field this summer, you can watch AAA baseball players laboring to leap into the ranks of the stupendously wealthy. The average salary in Major League Baseball just hit $4 million.

Let's say that again: $4 million.

Meanwhile, a few dozen yards away at Sand Creek Stadium, you can watch players from the Colorado Springs Switchbacks soccer team. These athletes just hope to earn a living.

The Switchbacks make their home debut Saturday at 1 p.m. against the Oklahoma City Energy.

The majority of professional soccer players in America fail to earn mountains of cash. The Switchbacks compete in the United Soccer League with a roster full of players hoping to vault to Major League Soccer.

The MLS salary scale is nowhere close to the one enjoyed by baseball players. Let's take a look at the Colorado Rapids of the MLS. In the 2014 season, nine of the Rapids earned less than $60,000 and only one earned more than $300,000.

For comparison, consider Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who will earn $30 million in 2015, which translates to $1 million for each start.

The gulf between playing baseball and soccer at the top levels in America is huge.

Jamie McGuinness isn't complaining.

McGuinness plays defense for the Switchbacks. …

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