As a different set of lawyers took over for the U.S. Soccer Federation, new USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone disavowed papers submitted by the previous attorneys who argued women's national team players had lesser skills and responsibilities than their male counterparts.
Parlow Cone took over as head of American soccer's governing body last week when Carlos Cordeiro abruptly resigned because of the backlash over the documents, submitted by the USSF as it defended a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by women's national team players.
Seyfarth Shaw had represented the federation since the suit was filed in March 2019. Latham & Watkins replaced it in Monday's night's filing, made simultaneously with a statement by Parlow Cone, a former World Cup and Olympic champion for the U.S.
“Last week’s legal filing was an error," Parlow Cone said. “It resulted from a fundamental breakdown in our internal process that led to offensive assertions made by the federation that do not represent our core values.”
Both sides have moved for summary judgments, asking U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner to decide in their favor without a trial, currently scheduled for May 5. They filed final documents associated with those requests late Monday night.
Parlow Cone, who had been the federation's vice president since last year, became the first woman president in the USSF's 107-year history. She struck a conciliatory tone.
“The WNT is the most successful soccer team in the world. As it relates to the lawsuit filed by the women, I offer the perspective of a former player. I know how important it is for both the federation and the players to move beyond this and keep working together on what unites us,” she said. “We only have one federation and one senior women’s national team. We have to work together and move forward in a positive manner toward what I know are mutual goals, growing the game and winning.”
Players claim they have not been paid equally to the men's national team and asked for more than $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.