The U.S. women's national team filed two motions in federal district court on Friday, one seeking to postpone the trial currently scheduled to start June 16 and the other seeking to immediately appeal last week's ruling against them by Judge Gary Klausner.
On May 1, Klausner granted summary judgement in U.S. Soccer's favor regarding the USWNT's gender discrimination lawsuit, ruling that the team's Equal Pay Act claim and Title VII claim of discrimination based on turf conditions would not move forward.
The ruling was a major blow to the USWNT, who are seeking to demonstrate their federation paid them less than the USMNT solely because of their gender.
Klausner ruled that in signing their collective bargaining agreement in 2017, the USWNT did not have grounds to proceed to a trial that would look to undo that CBA.
In Friday's filing, the USWNT's lawyers disputed this notion, saying: "The argument that women gave up a right to equal pay by accepting the best CBA possible in response to USSF refusal to put equal pay on the table is not legit reason for continuing to discriminate against them."
Klausner did allow a Title VII claim alleging discrimination in travel conditions (charter flights and hotel) and personnel and support (medical and training) to proceed toward a June 16 trial, but the USWNT is looking to push back that trial date while anticipating an expedited appeal.
Though many expected the USWNT and U.S. Soccer to reach a settlement before that trial date, Friday's filing hinted that the World Cup champions would be unlikely to do so before their appeal is heard.
"Simply put, the dismissed equal pay claims constitute the core of Plaintiffs’ case, and without a final resolution on their status, it will be exceedingly difficult for the Parties ever to reach a settlement," the filing said.
Friday's filings requested Klausner to enter a final judgment on his decision to dismiss their equal pay claim, which would allow the USWNT to take the case to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
“Equal pay means paying women players the same rate for winning a game as men get paid. The argument that women are paid enough if they make close to the same amount as men while winning more than twice as often is not equal pay,” USWNT spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement.
"Today we are filing a motion to allow us to appeal immediately the district court's decision so that the Ninth Circuit will be able to review these claims."
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