Head Of U.S. Soccer Resigns Amid Pay Dispute With Women's National Team
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Head Of U.S. Soccer Resigns Amid Pay Dispute With Women’s National Team

By Tommy Fradenburg

Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local | See @tommyfradenburg

Carlos Corderio announced his resignation on Thursday after appearing to disparage the United States Women’s National Soccer (USWNT) team in their lawsuit for better pay. Former U.S. Soccer Vice President Cindy Parlow Cone took over for Corderio and is the first woman to hold the post. 

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The USWNT is seeking over $66 million dollars in damages from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) under the Equal Pay Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the USSF said in court on Tuesday that despite playing the same sports, the U.S. Men’s National Team do different jobs. 

“MNT players routinely play matches (important World Cup qualifiers, in particular) throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The USWNT does not,” the USSF said. “Opposing fan hostility encountered in these USMNT road environments, especially in Mexico and Central America, is unmatched by anything the USWNT must face while trying to qualify for an important tournament. Even the hostility of fans at home crowds for the USMNT in some friendlies can be unlike anything the USWNT faces.”

The public reaction was not one of sympathy and understanding of the comment.

The USWNT, who were embroiled in the She Believes Cup, prepared for their game the next day with their warm-ups inside out to hide the USSF crest. Many of the USSF sponsors stated their support for the players rather than the federation, and just days later Corderio stepped down.

Historical Gap

Its no secret that the USWNT has been the vastly more successful team than the men’s side. They captured back-to-back FIFA World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019. With the first women’s edition of the event not coming until 1991, the United States has won the event four times; good for 50 percent of all tournaments. Add to that four Olympic gold medals since 1996 and all but one of the CONCACAF Gold Cup championships, the American women possess a decorated resume; with all titles coming since the year 1991.

The men’s team has not found the same success. Since the birth of the men’s World Cup in 1930, they’ve yet to capture a title. After advancing to the semi-finals in the first ever edition in Uruguay in 1930, they have made it past the first knockout round just once. They failed to qualify for the 2018 event all together, failing to secure even a draw against Trinidad and Tobago (population of 1.4 million) in a vital match.

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Despite the USWNT’s much more successful track record, the women have consistently made less money than the men. According to the USSF, the different levels in pay are due to different standards in their respective Collective Bargaining Agreements.

The Women’s team players can sign contracts to earn up to $100,000 dollars with potential bonuses for draws and wins. And while the men’s team doesn’t get salaries, they do recieve larger bonuses that aren’t dependent on results. According to the Washington Post, a female player who won 20 exhibition matches would make 89 percent of what a man would make.

Cone said the federations direction would be different under her. “I disavow the troubling statements and will continue to work to forge a better path forward,” she said.

 

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