Carlos Cordeiro seeking ‘compromise’ with USWNT over equal pay battle

Carlos Cordeiro, U.S. Soccer President, (L) and Kate Markgraf, U.S. Women’s National Team General Manager, pose for a photo with Vlatko Andonovski at a press conference where he was introduced as the U.S. Women's National Team head coach (Credit: Getty Images)

United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro has revealed he was “very disappointed” that mediation talks between the governing body and the US women’s team over equal pay and other workplace conditions broke down in August.

Speaking in New York City at the announcement of Vlatko Andonovski’s appointment as the new USWNT head coach, Cordeiro added that US Soccer was committed to resolving the issue “in a fair way” but stated that compromise was needed from the players.

Members of the USWNT have launched a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer in the search for better pay and working conditions but talks between the two parties in August ended without resolution. The matter is scheduled go to trial in May 2020, but it appears likely that a settlement will be agreed in the interim.

Cordeiro published an open letter on July 29 claiming that US Soccer’s women’s players were actually paid more than their male counterparts from 2010 through 2018. The women’s players branded the calculations a “ruse.”

“The federation has always been committed to paying our senior national team players, both our women and our men, fairly and equitably regardless of gender,” Cordeiro said at Andonovski’s unveiling on October 28, following a question asked by SportBusiness. “I was personally very disappointed that the mediation in August wasn’t successful. A number of us on both sides spent a lot of time preparing for that. Notwithstanding that, we’re still very committed to resolving this in a fair way. But at the end of the day that requires compromise.”

Cordeiro continued that the federation is operating with a “relatively limited budget.”

“Notwithstanding that, we want to pay our women and our men as much as we can. That process continues and I sincerely hope that we can put this behind us soon enough so that when the women go on the field that’s where their entire focus will be. I’d say give us more time,” he said.

Andonovski, for his part, said he was “very respectful of the push that the players have” on this issue.

Former Reign FC head coach Andonovski’s first game in charge of USWNT will be a friendly against Sweden at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on November 7. More than 18,000 tickets have been sold, according to US Soccer.