US Soccer, women's team tentatively agree to mediate lawsuit

United States players embrace following their team's 2-0 win over Sweden in the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match at Stade Océane, in Le Havre, France, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

REIMS, France — U.S. Soccer and players for the women's national team have tentatively agreed to mediate a lawsuit that accuses the federation of gender discrimination and seeks equitable pay.

The federation and representatives for the players confirmed the agreement, first reported in the Wall Street Journal, to pursue mediation following the Women's World Cup.

Twenty-eight members of the current player pool filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in March. The lawsuit alleges "institutionalized gender discrimination" that includes inequitable compensation when compared with their counterparts on the men's national team.

The federation has maintained the differences in pay are the result of different collective bargaining agreements that establish distinct pay structures for the two teams. Those agreements are not public. Court documents said decisions surrounding the teams have been made for "legitimate business reasons and not for any discriminatory or other unlawful purpose."

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