Amid an ongoing gender pay discrimination lawsuit, one of the top players on the U.S. women’s national team conceded that she and her teammates are physically outmatched by teen boys.
Team captain Carli Lloyd made the remarks Wednesday following the USWNT’s 3-1 victory over Japan in Frisco, Texas, The Guardian reported.
“It’s interesting because I train with the U18 boys at home and I have said that. I’m more skillful than all of those boys there, put together! But they are bigger, stronger and faster. That’s just the way that they are born. As they get older, we just can’t compete with that. That’s science,” Lloyd said, responding to reports of a controversial statement from the U.S. Soccer Federation.
The U.S. Soccer Federation, defending itself against a gender-discrimination case filed by members of the U.S. women’s national team, argued that playing for the men’s national team is tougher than playing for the women’s national team.
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In court filings for the equal-pay lawsuit scheduled to commence May 5, the federation asserted, as reported Tuesday by multiple media outlets, “The job of a [men’s national team player] carries more responsibility within US Soccer than the job of a [women’s national team] player.”
“The overall soccer-playing ability required to compete at the senior men’s national team level is materially influenced by the level of certain physical attributes … such as speed and strength, required for the job,” the federation added.
Many of the U.S. women, including Lloyd, took issue with the federation’s statement.
“But from a skill point, I’m better than every single number of those boys,” Lloyd said on Wednesday, in reference to the male teenagers she trains with regularly.
“If you put more speed and strength in me then there is no doubt that I would be able to fully compete. For me, as somebody who is nearly 38, I am giving those boys a run for their money.“
In the aftermath of the controversy over the U.S. Soccer Federation’s legal filing, the organization’s president, Carlos Cordeiro, resigned on Thursday.
“My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation, and it has become clear to me that what is best right now is a new direction,” he said in a statement. “The arguments and language continued in this week’s legal filing caused great offense and pain, especially to our extraordinary Women’s National Team players who deserve better.”
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The USWNT suffered a blowout loss in 2017 to an FC Dallas club team whose players were aged 14 and 15. The final score was 5-2.