U.S. Soccer refutes claims made in new USWNT documentary ‘LFG’

Lizzy Becherano
Megan Rapinoe of USA women's national team during the 2019 World Cup
Megan Rapinoe of USA women's national team during the 2019 World Cup / SOPA Images/Getty Images

The U.S. Soccer federation has taken to Twitter to refute several claims made by a lawyer working with the United States women’s national team during their equal pay lawsuit.

Using their communication department’s account, U.S started the 17 tweet thread by stating that lawyer Jeffrey Kessler “presents a misleading and inaccurate account of facts" in a new HBO documentary titled LFG.

The U.S. Soccer federation declined to take part in the documentary, as The Washington Post reported HBO approached the organization late in production and failed to provide enough information about the on-screen project. 

"In the new movie 'LFG,' there is a concerning level of dishonesty about the U.S. Soccer and the USWNT's compensation that we feel must be addressed," their Twitter thread began.

“Kessler’s own admission in the movie that certain things he says are “a little bit of an exaggeration” pertains to a lot of the misleading information he presents, conveniently without context or specific details. So, we’d like to talk about real facts,” read the second tweet. 

The documentary portrays the story of the USWNT’s equal pay lawsuit through the eyes of the players themselves, including testimonies from Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe, Jessica McDonald, Kelley O’Hara and Sam Mewis. Despite player involvement, the U.S Soccer Federation simply attacked Kessler’s words and portrayal of the situation. 

Kessler has not remained silent since the Twitter thread. 

"The USSF, regrettably, continues to try to rewrite the past, making up a narrative that it has offered an equal rate of pay to the world champion women players, but it has not," Kessler said in a statement when contacted by ESPN on Friday.

Abby Dahlkemper, Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher, Becky Sauerbrunn
Several USWNT players have taken part in the documentary / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Beyond equal pay, the federation refuted claims about hotel accommodations, airplane travel, revenue generation, TV ratings and World Cup prize money.

In April, a federal judge granted a partial deal between the USWNT and the USSF over unequal conditions in football. That decision allowed the squad to appeal in May their equal pay claims.

Prior to this incident, USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone explicitly mentioned that asking the organization to “make up the difference in FIFA prize money, one of the key requests in the USWNT's lawsuit is untenable, and would likely bankrupt them."