By The Associated Press
The players’ association for the U.S. men’s national team is criticizing U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro’s efforts to counter arguments made by the women’s team in a fight over pay.
Cordeiro sent a letter to the federation’s members Monday that said U.S. Soccer paid the World Cup champion women’s team more than the men’s team over the period from 2010 to 2018.
The letter came as the federation faces mounting public pressure over pay issues. Players for the women’s team filed a federal lawsuit in March alleging gender discrimination by U.S. Soccer in matters including compensation. The issue was highlighted at the Women’s World Cup in France, where the crowd chanted “Equal Pay!” following the U.S. victory in the final earlier this month.
“The women’s national team players deserve equal pay and are right to pursue a legal remedy from the courts or Congress. The Federation correctly points to the different payment systems with USWNT players on contracts, but we do not believe that justifies discrediting the work they do or the real value of their profound impact on the American sports landscape,” the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association said in a statement released Tuesday.
U.S. Soccer also claimed the women’s team generated less gross revenue than the men’s team from 2009 to 2019 and that women’s games resulted in a net loss of $27.5 million for the federation over an 11-year span.
The union for the men’s team took issue with those points, pointing out they lacked context.
The men’s and women’s teams have separate collective bargaining agreements and different pay structures. Players on the women’s team receive salaries, while the men are paid by appearance with bonuses.
The U.S. women’s team won back to back World Cup titles over the period, while the men failed to make the field for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The men’s national team contract expired at the end of 2018. The union said in its statement that it is awaiting a response “to our proposal that would pay the men a fair share of all of the revenue they generate and would provide equal pay to the USMNT and USWNT players.”