U.S. Soccer: Commitment to women's soccer is 'unwavering'

Thomas Shea

U.S. Soccer has emphasized that its commitment to women's soccer is "unwavering" after five stars from the women's national team filed a federal complaint Thursday morning alleging wage discrimination.

The complaint, sent to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, comes after U.S. Soccer released a budget that appeared to favor the men's team over the World Cup champion women's side. Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo joined captains Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn in attaching their names to the complaint on behalf of the entire team.

U.S. Soccer sent a news release Thursday afternoon emphasizing past accomplishments in support of women's soccer, citing the campaign to introduce a women's competition in the Olympics in 1996, the push to include prize money for the Women's World Cup, and the establishment and backing of the NWSL.

"Our efforts to be advocates for women's soccer are unwavering," U.S. Soccer said. "For 30 years, we have been a world leader in promoting the women's game and are proud of the long-standing commitment we have made to building women's soccer in the United States and furthering opportunities in soccer for young women and girls around the world."

The news release noted that U.S. Soccer hopes to address the issue while negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement, with the current CBA set to expire at year's end. The federation "reluctantly" filed a lawsuit against the women's national team players union in February in hopes of proving the validity of the current CBA, which had been brought into question.

"We are committed to and engaged in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement that addresses compensation with the Women's National Team Players Association, to take effect when the current CBA expires at the end of this year," the federation said. "U.S. Soccer will continue to be an advocate on the global soccer stage to influence and develop the women's game and evolve FIFA's compensation model.

"We are committed to continuing to elevate women's soccer in the future at all levels."