USWNT, U.S. Soccer witness lists for equal pay trial reveal strategic positions

    The United States women’s national team positions for an image prior to a SheBelieves Cup match against Japan, Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Toyota Arena in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter).

    Legal teams for the United States Soccer Federation and the U.S. women’s national team sent witness lists Monday in case their equal pay disagreement goes to trial as arranged May 5.

    That is ending up being significantly not likely.

    New U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone stated her main top priority is reaching a settlement, which the the USWNT stated would need almost $67 million of back pay and damages. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic continues to stop daily life throughout the nation and might extend the minimal operations order in location up until May 1 for the Los Angeles federal court anticipated to host the trial.

    Both sides still need to be prepared, nevertheless, and the joint filing uses a look of how they would approach a trial.

    Here’s a breakdown of the witnesses called by each side, according to the files submitted:

    Alex Morgan (both sides)

    The USWNT star is amongst 4 U.S. women’s national team players noted as class agents for the complainants. For the players’ side, her statement would supply vital info about the treatment of the women’s team in an effort to supply the structure of the equal pay discrimination argument.

    The filing likewise kept in mind if Morgan is not available due to her pregnancy– she is anticipating a child in April– colleague Christen Press would take her location for the complainants’ statement.

    Morgan was the only class agent likewise noted as a witness by U.S. Soccer, which states her pretrial statement goes against the USWNT argument.

    Jill Ellis (both sides)

    Former USWNT coach Jill Ellis is likewise noted as a possible witness for both celebrations. U.S. Soccer prepares to utilize her for background on the success of the team and “the generally high level of support for the WNT from USSF during her tenure.”

    Ellis’ time on the witness stand would be utilized by the complainants very likewise to statement from the 4 class agents. Ellis might validate the women’s national team typically used synthetic fields instead of yard, according to the complainants’ witnesslist

    Ellis likewise experienced pay variation during her five-year period. Ellis’ U.S. Soccer coaching wage ended up being public last month and revealed she earned less in a year– during which she led the team to a second- straight FIFA World Cup title– than former men’s coach Gregg Berhalter made in a single month.

    Extra players

    USWNT– Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn– the staying complainants’ class agents for the case and present U.S. women’s national team players. They likewise are all 2019 World Cup champions.

    Their statement is anticipated to concentrate on past experiences as members of the national team, and whether their treatment showed U.S. Soccer breached the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Liberty Act. This might consist of speaking on pay disparities, lower quality resources and being required to play on synthetic or substandard grass fields.

    The players would be open to interrogation, during which U.S. Soccer might rebut those arguments. The federation has long stated any variations were the result of different cumulative bargaining arrangements, not discrimination.

    U.S. Soccer– Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press, present USWNT players and 2019 World Cup champions.

    U.S. Soccer argues both players made an admission in pretrial depositions that weakens the USWNT arguments.

    U.S. Soccer executives

    Both sides– Sunil Gulati, former president; Tom King, handling director of administration; and Praptika “Pinky” Raina, chief financial officer.

    All these prospective witnesses offer differing background on U.S. Soccer’s payment and financial structures.

    Gulati’s statement will be especially crucial. Gulati’s questioning by the complainants would fixate the relationship in between profits and pay for the national teams, in addition to the federation’s action to grievances of discrimination while he was president. The defense would utilize Gulati as part of its wider argument about the varying cumulative bargaining arrangements and ask him about the federation’s assistance of the National Women’s Soccer League and women’s soccer in basic.

    King might supply more background on the administration of both teams– especially travel and hotel lodgings– cumulative bargaining settlements from 2015-17 and the structure of men’s and women’s international competitions.

    Raina would offer info about the budgeting process and the profits produced by both teams, in addition to the distinctions in between their unions.

    USWNT– Jay Berhalter, former chief industrial officer; Carlos Cordeiro, former president.

    Berhalter can compare the men’s and women’s financial resources in a number of locations– the financial worths of the profits they produce; marketing and marketing projects; sponsorship arrangements; and the federation’s practices and policies for bothteams Furthermore, he might affirm about the relationship in between U.S. Soccer and the NWSL, which features greatly into the case because assigned USWNT players get their NWSL incomes through U.S. Soccer.

    Cordeiro might be a specific focus for the complainants on the witness stand after he resigned following extreme public reaction prompted by sexist language utilized by U.S. Soccer’s legal team throughout pretrial depositions. His questioning would concentrate on board members formerly going over equal treatment of women’s national team players and on USSF’s practices for abiding by the Equal Pay Act and Title VII.

    U.S. Soccer– Kay Bradley, brand name director; Amy Hopfinger, director of occasions; Paul Marstaller, director of event profits; and Ross Moses, director of analytics and research study.

    The defense argued pay disparities in between the men and women showed profits production, and the first 3 witnesses on this list each supply info about particular profits streams.

    Bradley can affirm about the marketing, marketing and promo of the men’s and women’steams Hopfinger can discuss the process of choosing places for both teams’ matches, and Marstaller can affirm about the tv rankings and participation of those matches.

    Moses might be utilized to develop the argument that the men contend in a much better market worldwide for TELEVISION rankings and participation. The women’s national team creating greater real gate profits and TELEVISION rankings than the men’s teams in previous years.

    Coca-Cola and VISA (USWNT)

    The complainants noted 2 witnesses who represent major sponsors for U.S. Soccer.

    John Seiler, the director of the portfolio at Coca-Cola that supervises the collaboration, and Visa representative Ashley Fisher would be contacted us to affirm on the brand names’ assistance of the women’s national team.

    Through this statement, the complainants will try to argue the women’s national team is the more crucial property in developing major sponsorship arrangements with big- name brand names.

    “We are extremely disappointed with the unacceptable and offensive comments made by US Soccer,” a representative for Coca-Cola stated in a declaration following the offending filings in February. “We have asked to meet with them immediately to express our concerns.”

    Visa added that executives at the brand name “believe the federation should do more to ensure a level playing field for women.”

    Players Association

    Both sides– Abundant Nichols, former WNTPA executive director; John Langel, former WNTPA executive director.

    Nichols and Langel would be contacted us to affirm about information of the settlements for the team’s cumulative bargaining arrangement.

    The complainants would ask Langel in specific about previous correspondence with the U.S. Olympic Committee relating to the federation’s supposed discrimination towards the women’steam The defense would ask him to duplicate statement from a previous deposition that supported the federation’s legal position.

    U.S. Soccer– Rebecca Roux, present WNTPA executive director; Meghan Klingenberg, former USWNTPA player agent.

    Roux might supply more information about the 2017 CBA settlements, in addition to computations of how women’s players would be paid under the men’s CBA.

    Klingenberg, a defender for the NWSL’s Portland Thorns, is the only player not currently on the USWNT lineup who might be contacted us to affirm about the CBA settlementprocess According to the federation’s legal team, her statement would show she was paid more under the 2017 women’s CBA than she would have been paid under the men’s.

    Professional witnesses

    The specialist witnesses called by both celebrations will serve a basic function: disputing the financial argument at stake in between the 2 celebrations. At its core, the equal pay suit focuses on whether players were underpaid and if the cause was gender-based discrimination.

    USWNT– Dr. Finnie Cook, lost salaries specialist; Dr. Caren Goldberg, personnels specialist; Dr. Roger Noll, counterclaim specialist.

    Cook is an economic expert who concentrates on the research study of lost advantages and salaries. She would be asked to develop back pay and damages due to the players, which she formerly priced at almost $67 million.

    Goldberg’s statement would concentrate on whether the federation’s personnels practices “fell below standard and acceptable human resource practice.”

    Noll is a Stanford teacher who concentrates on sports lawsuits. He’s understood for his role in the Ed O’Bannon case against the NCAA over using names, images and similarities of college professional athletes. His statement would contest a number of the financial arguments made by U.S. Soccer, especially in the contrast of the 2 different CBAs.

    U.S. Soccer– Carlyn Irwin, forensic accounting professional; Justin McCrary, labor economics specialist; Philip Miscimarra, labor relations specialist.

    The 3 specialist witnesses for the defense offer various angles on profits and payment structures for the men’s and women’s teams.

    Irwin would show her payment computations, which in depositions declared the women in fact out-earned themen McCrary would supply analysis of the 2 cumulative bargaining arrangements, with arguments that some women’s national team players made more under their present arrangement than they would have under the men’s. Miscimarra’s statement would dive into the process of cumulative bargaining and the conduct of the women’s national team settlements relative to other unions and companies.

    Note: The players’ legal team asked for the exemption of Miscimarra, Irwin and McCrary for the U.S. Soccerdefense USWNT attorneys argued they must not be enabled due to the “confusing and erroneous nature” of their arguments, which they think might puzzle a jury. Furthermore, U.S. Soccer has actually called for the exemption of Cook and Goldberg.

    The court will choose whether these witnesses will be enabled prior to the trial date.

    Legal Representatives (U.S. Soccer)

    Lisa Levine, former basic counsel for the USSF; Russ Sauer, retired attorney.

    Both functioned as counsel to the federation during cumulative bargaining settlements from 2012-13 and 2015-17 They will be asked to supply extra info about the conduct of both the players and federation in these settlements.

    Note: The players’ legal team asked for the exemption of Levine from the U.S. Soccer defense.



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