US Soccer president says women’s lawsuit a surprise

U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro says the governing body was surprised when women’s national team players sued alleging gender discrimination.

Cordeiro said in a statement Friday that the USSF is reviewing suit and he has spoken with some of the players this week and hopes for continued conversation.

The USSF and the team agreed in April 2017 to a collective bargaining agreement through 2021 that gave the players higher pay and better benefits. Cordeiro say the players had not expressed concerns with the labor contract since then.

The 28 members of the current women’s player pool filed the lawsuit March 8 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging “institutionalized gender discrimination” that includes unequal pay with their counterparts on the men’s national team. The USSF answer is due by April 2.