In a new court filing, the U.S. women’s soccer team fought back against claims that top female players made more than their male counterparts, saying that the players in question had played more games and won more. According to The Wall Street Journal, a U.S. Soccer Federation filing from last week claimed an unnamed male player received $993,967 between 2014 and 2019—while Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Becky Sauerbrunn got $1.1 million to $1.2 million during approximately the same time span. However, the women’s team claimed in the Monday filing that those top players earned more money because they won two World Cups in that time span. The men’s team failed to progress far in the World Cup in 2014 and didn’t qualify in 2018.
The women’s team also claimed that if Lloyd, Morgan, Rapinoe, and Sauerbrunn had been playing under the men’s team’s compensation policy, they would have earned at least $2.5 million more. Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the women’s players, said the comparison the federation was trying to make was “the very definition of gender discrimination.” The allegations are part of a gender-discrimination lawsuit the women’s team filed in March. Mediation talks in the suit reportedly failed in August, and the case is slated to go to court on May 5, 2020, if it’s not sorted out before then.