French Morning is relaunching its “Porte-money” series, in which French expatriates tell us about their job and dissect their budget for living in the United States. This week’s testimony is that of Louis Perez, professional footballer at FC Tucson in Arizona (3rd national division). The 24-year-old Parisian has agreed to talk about his finances for ” show the reality and behind the scenes of a fantasy job”.
Not retained by the training center of Paris Saint-Germain then Troyes (ESTAC), Louis Perez joined the United States and the University of Central Florida in 2017 to offer a double course of studies and football. After obtaining his degree in interpersonal communication, the midfielder signed his first professional football contract with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds last year (2nd national division). He had a season of ups and downs where he was not always a starter, and then joined FC Tucson in January, in southern Arizona. ” I signed a one year contract with an optional year thereafter. It’s pretty similar to what’s done elsewhere in the league.” explains the young man. ” I touch $2250 net per month guaranteed for one year “.
Added to this is ” the free accommodation, provided by the club. The majority of the team lives in a residence 15 minutes from the training center, in shared flats with two or four bedrooms. “ There are four of us in our apartment, but it’s very spacious, each with their own private corner. The residence also has a swimming pool”, details Louis Perez.
In addition to the fixed salary, there are also match bonuses depending on regularity, individual and collective performance. ” I touch $25 every time I’m in the squad for a game, $50 for every win and $25 if I hold. There are also goal bonuses, I believe, says the Parisian. At the rate of three to four matches per month, that can be an interesting additional salary. Morning and midday meals are also provided by the club, so only the dinners to pay out of pocket. For his health insurance, our top athlete admits “ not knowing exactly how it works. All I know is that I am 100% covered when I’m in the field.”
With all the advantages he enjoys, Louis Perez explains that his salary is mainly pocket money in a region where living is inexpensive. ” I’m not a spendthrift, I don’t go out during the week, my daily life is training, meals, naps, then video games and phone calls to my parents”. On the other hand, the high-level athlete does not have no car, but he is led by his teammates every day in training. “ I manage to put $1500 per month aside in order to buy me a used Volkswagen Jetta. I buy myself one or two clothes with the rest”.
If he absolutely wants to buy a vehicle, it’s because Louis Perez could use it to supplement his income. ” There are plenty of coaching opportunities for kids in the US. There’s a guy on my team who made $500 last month for ten sessions with a kid. Our status as a professional player gives us credibility, and sports practice here is entirely at the parents’ expense. »
At 24, Louis Perez is still young in the world of football. For the moment, he adapts perfectly to his working conditions even if he hopes to climb the ladder in the future. ” I came very close to playing in MLS (first division) after college. Lots of teams were interested in me, but I don’t have local player status (professional leagues limit the number of international players per team). I still believe in it, and why not play in Europe as well one day. It’s my aim. »
Unlike many players in France, Louis Perez was able to earn a master’s degree in communication while continuing to play football in the United States. A guarantee of not being left with nothing at the end of his career. ” I am thinking more and more about the coaching profession for the future. Football is booming in the US, and the opportunities are everywhere. Overall, I really took the lead in the brains since my arrival. I was still a child in France, and I became a man here”.