The U.S. Soccer Federation will no longer argue in court that the women's national team players perform work requiring less skill, effort and responsibility than men's players.
This was confirmed in new filings in the gender discrimination lawsuit between U.S. Soccer and members of the women's national team.
This latest filing is a joint stipulation effectively asking the court not to consider that one part of the overall arguments U.S. Soccer made in recent weeks.
It states that U.S. Soccer "is no longer relying on the specific argument that the work of WNT players does not require 'equal skill, effort and responsibility' to that of MNT players" in its motion for summary judgment.
U.S. Soccer will also no longer dispute the statement that "WNT players are equally as skilled as MNT players, including in key areas of soccer such as athleticism, tactical IQ, tactical proficiency, and mental fortitude."
It was also clarified this week that it would no longer contend that "the soccer played by the WNT is 'a different game' from the soccer played by the MNT 'in the sense that men are bigger, stronger, faster' and 'there's no denying the science in that regard.'"
U.S. Soccer had alleged in previous filings "it is undisputed that the job of MNT player requires materially more strength and speed than the job of WNT player."
With a trial set for May 5, Judge R. Gary Klausner has yet to rule on either the federation's motion for summary judgment or the players' motion for partial judgment.
The new joint stipulation filing is the latest development in a week that has seen the federation rapidly distance itself from the parts of its legal argument that caused a public backlash and led Carlos Cordeiro to resign as president of the federation on March 12.
Cordeiro and new U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone both contended that they did not review the language in the filings.
Prior to his resignation, Cordeiro announced new legal counsel would be taken on for the remainder of the lawsuit. Seyfarth Shaw, the firm responsible for the controversial filings, submitted paperwork to withdraw from the case this week. The firm of Latham and Watkins has been listed as responsible for all of the federation's subsequent filings.