The president of the United States Soccer Federation, Carlos Cordeiro, confirmed his “total support” for the national women’s team with less than a month to go before the World Cup in France.

Carlos Cordeiro was elected US Soccer president in February of 2018 (US Soccer)

Cordeiro’s statements to Around the Rings come at a time when members of the US women’s team have filed a lawsuit against the federation for gender discrimination.

“We have every confidence that our USWNT players will be relentless in their pursuit of winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer in France.” Cordeiro said.

“At the same time, we will work tirelessly to provide our team with everything it needs to compete and win another world championship this summer and maintain the USWNT’s position as the world leader in women’s soccer.” 

United States, the defending champion from 2015, also won in 1991 (the first edition) and in 1999. Germany (2003 and 2007), Norway (1995), and Japan (2011) complete the gallery of champions.

United States is the only team to have reached the semifinals in every tournament.

The World Cup, which will begin on June 7, will have more than $30 million in prize money to be distributed among the 24 teams. 

The amount triples that distributed at the 2015 World Cup in Canada, but FIFA itself has recognized the need to achieve the greatest possible balance in terms of economic compensation in the hope that one day women’s football will generate more than men’s football.

For now, the men’s World Cup generates most of FIFA’s $1 billion revenue.

At the end of last season, players’ unions from several countries officially expressed their criticism of their national federations and FIFA for what they considered “lack of gender equality”.

Cordeiro declined to comment to ATR on the current situation concerning the lawsuit by the US players.

US Women’s National Team is suing the USSF (US Soccer)

The players filed the suit on March 8 in the District Court in Los Angeles under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging unequal pay in comparison to their counterparts in the men’s national team.

The national men’s and women’s national teams of the United States have separate collective bargaining agreements, and their salary is structured differently. But the lawsuit cited several cases of alleged inequality.

In his open letter, Cordeiro mentioned examples to demonstrate that the federation had increased its investment in the women’s national team and reiterated that US Soccer and the National Women’s Team “continue to be partners with shared goals and aspirations.”

Some sources close to the case, consulted by ATR, were not optimistic that a new agreement would be made with the dissatisfied players before the start of the World Cup.

But Cordeiro has insisted that USA Soccer keeps all communication channels open for the players and reiterates the importance of dialogue as a mutual goal to preserve the main focus: to triumph at the World Cup.

2026 a “Tremendous Opportunity” to Grow Soccer in the USA

USA Soccer also faces the great challenge of hosting the majority of the men’s 2026 World Cup in a joint North American agreement including Mexico and Canada.

“Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be an extraordinary opportunity to energize soccer in America, not just in 2026, but in the years preceding it,” Cordeiro tells ATR.

“The excitement in the lead-up to the tournament will inspire a new generation of youth and adults and bring more players into our ranks, especially from underserved and immigrant communities from other soccer-loving nations. 

(US Soccer)

“Those players can now dream of watching—and maybe even competing in—a World Cup on American soil in eight years.

“Bringing the most important soccer event in the world to North America will also help generate new revenue that we can invest to make soccer more affordable and develop the very best players, coaches and referees at all levels.

“It will attract even more fans, whose passion is helping to fuel the phenomenal growth of soccer across America.

“In short, this is a tremendous opportunity to bring us closer to our goal of making soccer the preeminent sport in America and lay the foundation for the future of the sport.”

USA Men’s Team in Rebuilding Mode

Soccer leaders in the USA want to make sure the men’s national team will be relevant after the embarrassment of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The USA had been expected to easily handle the qualifiers in the North, Central America and the Caribbean region, but instead missed out on the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

So the 15th CONCACAF Gold Cup, to be played in the United States from June 15 with some qualifying matches in Costa Rica and Jamaica, will be the first chance for the men’s team to restore some confidence.

“Our USMNT is currently in a rebuilding process with our new head coach, Gregg Berhalter, as well as many new faces on the roster.” Cordeiro explains.

“The team started 2019 on the right foot, so we are very pleased with the progress we’ve seen both on and off the field. 

“We have two friendlies scheduled for June that will serve as good preparation for the tournament, and we are confident that our team has the quality and the right to compete for another title.” 

Born to a Colombian mother and Portuguese-Indian father, Cordeiro immigrated to the United States from India with his mother and three siblings at the age of 15, becoming an American citizen 10 years later.

Today, with the 2026 World Cup on the horizon, Cordeiro faces the historic moment with other actors to try to turn “soccer” into a true protagonist within the coveted spectrum of professional sports in the United States.

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