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Women's team hides US Soccer logo during anthem in protest

It comes after the federation claimed in legal filings that women are less skilled and have less-demanding roles than the men on its national team.

FRISCO, Texas — The increasingly bitter dispute between American women's national soccer team and the U.S. Soccer Federation spilled onto the field when players wore their warm-up jerseys inside out in a protest before their 3-1 victory over Japan.

Players filed a gender wage discrimination suit against the USSF, a case scheduled for trial starting May 5 in federal court in Los Angeles.

The USSF submitted legal papers this week claiming that the women are less skilled and have less-demanding roles than the men on its national team.

By wearing jerseys inside out, players hid the USSF crest on the jerseys.

Credit: AP
United States goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, left, and forward Megan Rapinoe, right, stand with their jerseys turned inside out during the playing of the national anthem before a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match against Japan, Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

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"We sort of felt that those are some of the undercurrent feelings that they've had for a long time, but to see that as the argument -- a sort of blatant misogyny and sexism as the argument against us -- it's really disappointing," said forward Megan Rapinoe after the game.

Rapinoe said the message being sent by USSF is false.

"You are not lesser just because you are a girl. You are not better just because you are a boy," Rapinoe said.

The USSF apologized Wednesday for the claims it made. The statement from USSF president Carlos Cordeiro came hours after The Coca-Cola Co. denounced the federation for its stance. Cordeiro also announced a shake-up of the USSF legal team.

The USSF's legal papers had said the men had a “higher level of skill based on speed and strength” and “more responsibility.”

Rapinoe opened the U.S. scoring on a free kick in the seventh minute. Christen Press and Lindsey Horan also scored for the U.S.,

Associated Press' Anne M. Peterson contributed to this report.