Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The 28 United States Women's National Team players who are suing the U.S. Soccer Federation over alleged gender discrimination want to legally represent players who came before them and who will come after them.
The plaintiffs are seeking class certification for their lawsuit. Trial is scheduled for May 5.
"Certifying the class is the next important step to the trial," players' spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement issued to UPI on Thursday.
"It allows the players to legally represent not just themselves but the players in the class period who came before and after them."
The players filed the motion Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. If the motion is successful, it would expand the scope of plaintiffs to include additional U.S. women's team players who are not among those listed as plaintiffs.
U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner will hear the motion for class certification Oct. 21. The women's players asked the court to appoint plaintiffs Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn as class representatives.
The women initially filed their lawsuit in March, accusing the federation of "institutionalized gender discrimination," which the players say impacted their wages and the way they train and compete. The complaint also addresses promotion, support and development for the women's games.
The federation has pushed back on the claims, arguing that the women have been paid more than the men on their respective national teams. Mediation talks between the federation and players broke down in August.
The World Cup championship team has upcoming exhibition matches against Korea on Oct. 3 in Charlotte, N.C., and Oct. 6 in Chicago. The team wraps up its 2019 Victory Tour with a game against Sweden on Nov. 7 in Columbus, Ohio, and a game against Costa Rica on Nov. 10 in Jacksonville, Fla.