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Volume 26 No. 90
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USMNT's Union Disagrees With USSF's Stance On Women's Pay

The USMNT's players' association is "criticizing U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro's efforts to counter arguments made by the women's team in a fight over pay," according to Anne Peterson of the AP. Cordeiro on Monday sent a letter saying the U.S. Soccer Federation paid the USWNT more than the men's team from '10-18. The USMNT's union "took issue" with the points made in the letter, "pointing out they lacked context." The union in a statement said, "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." Peterson noted 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" (AP, 7/30).

TENSE BATTLE: The GUARDIAN's Beau Dure notes the USSF's argument that it has paid the USWNT more than their male counterparts is "technically correct." However, the numbers still "lend themselves to interpretation and spin from each side." Some of the USSF's figures will "throw a wrench in the women’s lawsuit seeking equal pay." But other numbers will "leave U.S. Soccer open for counterarguments in court and in the ongoing public relations battle" (GUARDIAN, 7/31). SI.com's Grant Wahl wrote both the USSF and the USWNT are "engaging in public posturing to try to win over adherents." One intriguing omission from Cordeiro’s letter was the "failure to mention that USWNT games are part of the sponsorship and TV rights package connected to Soccer United Marketing, which is owned by the MLS owners and profits extensively from the deal." That means the "success of the USWNT brings money to SUM, which helps pay the salaries of several USMNT players in MLS." At this point, the USSF and the USWNT players "don’t even agree on basic facts." Wahl: "The rancor on both sides this week is enough to make you wonder if they’ll actually be willing to reach an accord through mediation" (SI.com, 7/30).