U.S. Soccer said the National Women’s Team has made more money than the men’s team over the past 10 years, weeks before mediation is set to begin in the gender-discrimination lawsuit filed by 28 members of the women’s team. U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said between 2010 and 2018, the federation paid $34.1 million in salary and game bonuses to the women’s team, compared to $26.4 million paid to the men’s team—a $7.7 million difference—in an open letter on Monday. Cordeiro said U.S. Soccer conducted an extensive analysis of its finances over the past 10 years and released a fact sheet to clear up “confusion” that fans may have in understanding differences in pay structures between the two teams.
“In the weeks ahead, we’ll focus on preparing for mediation and resolving this matter in the best interests of the WNT and U.S. Soccer,” he wrote. “I want you to know that U.S. Soccer is committed to doing right by our players, and I’ve been encouraged by the public comments from players expressing their desire for a cooperative approach.” Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the women’s team players on the lawsuit, told the Associated Press that she thought the letter was “a sad attempt by USSF to quell the overwhelming tide of support the USWNT has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress.”