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Trial appears likely after mediation talks between U.S. Soccer and USWNT break down

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Christen Press, Ali Krieger, Mallory Pugh, Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd, Alyssa Naeher, Julie Johnston, Lindsey Horan, Becky Sauerbrunn are posing for a picture © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Mediation talks between U.S. Soccer and the U.S. women's national team have broken down, making it likely the two sides will go to court over the USWNT's gender discrimination lawsuit.

The New York Times reported that the two sides met secretly in New York this week, but that process of mediation has apparently fallen short.

“We entered this week’s mediation with representatives of USSF. full of hope,” Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the players, said in a statement.

“Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the federation’s determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior.

DeCOURCY: U.S. Soccer should push for equity in World Cup pay

"It is clear that USSF, including its board of directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed.”

With talks having broken down, the dispute between the two sides now appears destined to move to federal court.

In March, 28 USWNT players filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer for discrimination, charging that the federation does not pay them fairly due to their gender.

The suit charges that U.S. Soccer "paid only lip service to gender equality and continues to practice gender-based discrimination against its champion female employees on the WNT in comparison to its less successful male employees on the MNT."

During the World Cup in June, U.S. Soccer confirmed that it had agreed to pursue mediation with the players in an attempt to avoid trial.

The USWNT would go on to win the World Cup – their second in a row and fourth overall – with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final in July.

Following the World Cup, U.S. Soccer has fought back against the perception it was discriminating against its players.

First, Cordeiro released an open letter in which he claimed that the federation actually pays its women's players more than its men's players.

U.S. Soccer has also hired lobbyists to circulate a presentation to several U.S. lawmakers and their staffs, which makes several of the same arguments that Cordeiro's open letter did.

On the field, the USWNT will continue their five-game World Cup victory tour with matches against Portugal on Aug. 29 and Sept. 3.

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