USWNT players' union opposes expedited schedule in USSF lawsuit

The union that represents the Women's World Cup-winning United States national team opposed an expedited schedule in the lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Soccer Federation last week, insisting no collective bargaining agreement exists.

The federation sued in an attempt to establish that it has a contract with the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Players Association that runs through this year's Olympics and until Dec. 31. The union maintains that the memorandum of understanding agreed to in March 2013 can be terminated at any time.

The USSF filed a motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago to ask for an expedited schedule, and the union submitted opposition papers Monday that claim "facts asserted in the motion are nowhere near accurate and are hotly disputed."

The union maintains the USSF knew about the disagreement since July but did nothing about it.

"No emergency exists," the union said in its filing. "In an effort to support its request for an expedited motion schedule, USSF's motion is filled with blatant inaccuracies, misrepresentations and misleadingly incomplete quotations from the relevant record."

The U.S. women's team is in Texas preparing for the Olympic qualifying tournament for the North and Central America and Caribbean region. The United States is set to open the tournament Wednesday against Costa Rica in Frisco, Texas.

If the U.S. women make it to the final, they will secure a spot in this year's tournament in Brazil, which runs Aug. 3-19. The Americans have won three straight gold medals.

In an email attached to the original lawsuit, union executive director Rich Nichols told the USSF earlier this year that the union's position was that the collective bargaining agreement no longer exists and the 2013 memorandum of understanding could be terminated at any time. That interpretation would mean players could strike.

An initial status conference is set for April 4.