Mediation talks between U.S. Soccer and the U.S. women's national team have broken down, making it likely the two sides will go to court over the USWNT's gender discrimination lawsuit.
The New York Times reported that the two sides met secretly in New York this week, but that process of mediation has apparently fallen short.
“We entered this week’s mediation with representatives of USSF. full of hope,” Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the players, said in a statement.
“Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the federation’s determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior.
"It is clear that USSF, including its board of directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed.”
Here’s the USWNT statement, via their spokeswoman: pic.twitter.com/WZ4UlD0tLg— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) August 15, 2019
With talks having broken down, the dispute between the two sides now appears destined to move to federal court.
U.S. Soccer responded with a statement that, in part, accused the players of taking "an aggressive and ultimately unproductive approach."
And here’s the US Soccer response: pic.twitter.com/EIcJtktOsw— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) August 15, 2019
In March, 28 USWNT players filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer for discrimination, charging that the federation does not pay them fairly due to their gender.
The suit charges that U.S. Soccer "paid only lip service to gender equality and continues to practice gender-based discrimination against its champion female employees on the WNT in comparison to its less successful male employees on the MNT."
During the World Cup in June, U.S. Soccer confirmed that it had agreed to pursue mediation with the players in an attempt to avoid trial.
U.S. Soccer has also hired lobbyists to circulate a presentation to several U.S. lawmakers and their staffs, which makes several of the same arguments that Cordeiro's open letter did.
On the field, the USWNT will continue their five-game World Cup victory tour with matches against Portugal on August 29 and September 3.