39 US women's team players back Cone for USSF president

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ATLANTA (AP) — Thirty-nine players on the women's national team endorsed Cindy Parlow Cone for a full four-year term as U.S. Soccer Federation president, a decision Friday that followed the settlement of six years of litigation between the players and the governing body.

Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, among the leaders of the lawsuit, gave their endorsement to Cone a day before the vote by the USSF National Council.

Cone is being challenged by her predecessor, Carlos Cordeiro, who was elected to a four-year term in 2018, then resigned in March 2020 after the organization sparked a backlash when its legal papers claimed the women had less physical ability and responsibility than their male counterparts.

Cone was vice president at the time and moved up to president, then was elected last winter to a one-year term.

“The U.S. Soccer Federation needs a leader who will move our sport forward, not backward. That is why we are endorsing Cindy Parlow Cone,” the women said in a statement.

“We respect Cindy’s integrity, her passion for the game as a former player and a coach, her pragmatic approach as a business leader, and commitment to its players at all levels from our national teams to the grassroots level,” they added.

“Cindy deeply understands the work that needs to be done to continue to create equality, implement fair structures, improve protections for players of all ages, and break down barriers that exist within our sport and within the U.S. Soccer Federation. Our recent settlement agreement to equalize pay and working conditions between the men’s and women’s national teams demonstrates her commitment in action.”

Women's team players announced a deal Feb. 22 that will have players split $22 million. The USSF also agreed to establish a fund with $2 million to benefit the players in their post-soccer careers and charitable efforts aimed at growing the sport for women.

The endorsement was made by Jane Campbell, Alana Cook, Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn, Morgan Gautrat, Ashlyn Harris, Ashley Hatch, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Sofia Huerta, Ali Krieger, Casey Krueger, Catarina Macario, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Sam Mewis, Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher, Casey Murphy, Kelley O’Hara Mallory Pugh, Midge Purce, Megan Rapinoe, Trinity Rodman, Ashley Sanchez, Becky Sauerbrunn, Sophia Smith, Emily Sonnett, Andi Sullivan and Lynn Williams.

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