Talks ongoing between U.S. Soccer Federation, women's team
Talks are ongoing between players for the World Cup-winning U.S. women's national team and the U.S. Soccer Federation in advance of the Dec. 31 expiration of their current contract.
The team played its final two matches of the season last week in California. On Sunday, the CBS news show "60 Minutes" is set to air an interview with a group of players.
The team has been playing under a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Players Association and the USSF that was struck in March 2013 and runs through the end of this year.
Earlier this year, a group of players filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging wage discrimination. They claimed that they are not paid the same as their counterparts on the men's national team.
Defender Becky Sauerbrunn told The Associated Press this week that the two sides met a couple of weeks ago and more talks are scheduled for this month and December.
"We're still fighting very hard for equal pay," she said. "We're not going to move on that. We're always encouraged because we know that's what we're fighting for and we feel like we're in the right to fight for something like that. Really, it's convincing U.S. Soccer that we deserve that."
U.S. Soccer reiterated Friday that it is working to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with the women's national team.
Much of the disparity in wages between the men's and women's teams stem from the different ways the players are paid. The women earn salaries while the men are paid based on national team appearances, results and other factors.
The pay structure was set up under separate collective bargaining agreements negotiated by unions for the men's and women's teams.
There has been no decision in the EEOC complaint, which was brought by Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd. All five were on the team that won the World Cup last year in Canada.
The U.S. women's team is coming off a disappointing showing at the Olympics this summer in Brazil, where it was ousted by Sweden in the quarterfinals. The U.S. had won three straight gold medals going into the Rio Games.