U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone on Tuesday said she would welcome an out-of-court settlement to the U.S. women's national team players landmark equal pay lawsuit.
"U.S. Soccer remains committed to resolving this case outside of court for the long-term benefit of the sport at all levels," Parlow Cone said in a statement.
"We would happily agree to settle so that we can focus on working together to chart a more positive and collaborative path forward."
The players sued their governing body in 2019, alleging gender discrimination in wages and playing conditions. U.S. Soccer argued the women's team had received more compensation than the men's team over the last decade.
In May 2020, a United States District Court judge for the Central District of California threw out the players' claims for equal pay but allowed their claims about playing conditions to go forward.
The players reached a settlement on the conditions component of the lawsuit and have appealed the wage decision portion. Oral arguments on the appeal are scheduled to begin on March 7.
Parlow Cone also made the case on a call with reporters that she and not former president Carlos Cordeiro should be selected to lead the federation when the national council meets on March 5.
Cordeiro resigned under pressure two years ago after a legal filing that was widely condemned as misogynistic and was succeeded in the position by Parlow Cone, a former national team player who was U.S. Soccer's vice president at the time.
Parlow Cone said she had led U.S. Soccer through the unprecedented crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and was best suited to chart a positive path forward.
She reiterated that the men's and women's players associations have both been offered nearly identical contract proposals, a claim the players' association previously dismissed as a "PR stunt."
Molly Levinson, a spokesperson for the U.S. women, said Parlow Cone's comments on reaching a settlement were riddled with "empty promises and rhetoric."
"Cindy knows where to find the players and knows what it will take to settle the lawsuit," she said in an email.
"She should stop talking about it and do it."
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles Editing by Chris Reese)