USWNT trial pushed back to June due to coronavirus pandemic

A judge has pushed back the trial date in the ongoing lawsuit between the U.S. women's national team and U.S. Soccer. 

The trial was originally scheduled for May 5, but Judge Gary Klausner has now moved that date to June 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Judge Klausner also ordered that the two sides take part in a pretrial conference on June 1.

The trial is set to take place at a federal courthouse in Los Angeles, but the coronavirus outbreak has limited court proceedings and forced postponements and cancellations.

The delay will give the two sides more time to potentially agree to an out-of-court settlement, which new U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone and new CEO Will Wilson have both indicated they would prefer. 

"I don't think a trial is good for either party or for soccer both in this country or internationally," Parlow Cone said on a conference call last month. "Our women's team is the best team in the world. I am hopeful we can find a resolution before this goes to trial."

The gender discrimination lawsuit has proven to be majorly contentious, with U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro forced to resign last month after a public backlash over sexist legal arguments made by the federation in court filings.

Among other arguments, U.S. Soccer's lawyers had claimed that playing for the men's national team "requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength than does the job of a [women's national team] player."

U.S. Soccer has since informed Judge Klausner that it no longer intends to rely on the controversial line of argument against the USWNT.

Cordeiro's replacement, Parlow Cone, has indicated that she is hoping to schedule talks with USWNT leaders soon – though the coronavirus will make those discussions more unconventional.

"We are hopeful we can schedule [talks] very soon," Parlow Cone said. "I think it's challenging right now with the backdrop of coronavirus.

"I'm a big believer in getting people in the same room and finding resolutions. In the meantime, we may have to settle with jumping on phone calls. I'm hopeful this will be the case in the coming weeks."