After hearing oral arguments on
Thursday, she could rule for one of the parties or neither -- and then set a trial date, which would likely take place before the Rio Olympics in August.
U.S. Soccer's position is that in 2013 when the collective bargaining agreement between U.S. Soccer and Players Association expired and U.S. Soccer and then-Players Association attorney John B. Langel reached a memorandum of understanding on a new agreement they agreed that any terms not specifically covered in the memorandum of understanding would remain the same as under the prior agreement, which contained a no-strike clause.
The players argued, through attorney Jeffrey Kessler, that U.S. Soccer forgot to make sure the memorandum of understanding incorporated by reference the previous agreement. In any event, he argued the federation presented no proof that the players agreed to the memorandum of understanding or Langel had any authority to bind them.
As time has passed since the original February filing, the importance, from U.S. Soccer's perspective, of resolving this issue has dissipated -- the March #SheBelieves Cup has come and gone and a new NWSL season has started -- and it would be unlikely that the women would strike ahead of the Olympics in August. But the leverage to strike after a potential gold-medal finish at the Olympics -- and before another lucrative Victory Tour -- would still be significant.
That would all be moot -- ah, a legal term -- if the federation and players agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement. The New York Times reported that federation and union representatives have met twice in May.
The Federal suit has nothing to do with the wage discrimination complaint players filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
A resolution introduced by Washington Senator Patty Murray calling on U.S. Soccer to end pay disparities between men and women cleared the Senate on Thursday.