A day before the U.S. women's national team
plays Spain in their second game at the SheBelieves Cup and two days before the filing of the women's players' opposition to U.S. Soccer's motion for summary judgment in the gender discrimination
lawsuit pending in U.S. district court in Los Angeles, U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro updated the federation's membership on its latest position.
Cordeiro said the federation offered the U.S. Women's National Team Players Association "multiple contract options" to provide identical compensation to all men's and women’s national team all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer and the offers to meet have been rejected. He did not include details of the what constituted games the federation controlled.
The heart of the dispute is how to deal with the distribution of prize money awarded by FIFA for the Men’s and Women’s World Cups. FIFA awarded the French federation $38 million for the Bleus' title in 2018 while U.S. Soccer received $4 million for the USA's 2019 women's title defense.
Cordeiro emphasized that World Cup prize money at issue is determined by FIFA, not U.S. Soccer, and the federation's obligations are to grow all its national teams and all its 113 member organization and it is "not reasonable or fiscally sound for U.S. Soccer to make up the gap" in prize money.
“It would seriously impair our ability to support our mission and invest in these other critical developmental areas," he wrote.
U.S. Soccer has offered a proposal for equal pay for our women and men players in all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer.
We look forward to discussing our proposal with the WNT and to resolving this in the best interest of everyone involved. pic.twitter.com/c3xZ3AtnT7— Carlos Cordeiro (@CACSoccer) March 7, 2020
The federation's position in its legal filings has been that the men's and women's national team contracts are different, not unequal, and they are based on compensation models reached a result of good-faith bargaining with two separate unions, each with different goals and priorities when they negotiated their current agreements.
In the recent legal filings, an expert for the women estimated that the damages in their case exceed $66 million.
Molly Levinson, the spokeswoman for the women's national team players in their suit against U.S. Soccer, described Cordeiro's letter as being "riddled with falsehoods" and said the equal-pay offer related to the men's collective bargaining agreement reached in 2011.
Sunday’s USA-Spain game is expected to draw a sellout crowd at Red Bull Arena. It comes on the one-year anniversary of the lawsuit 28 players filed against U.S. Soccer on International Women’s Day.