Team USA soccer players allege gender discrimination

First-class U.S. Women's National Soccer Team says they are being treated like second-class players compared to the men

Women's soccer

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has won four Olympic gold medals, three World Cups, and is currently the No. 1 team in the world, but they say they don’t get paid as much nor are they treated as well as the U.S. men’s team.  Some of the star female players on Team USA tell Norah O’Donnell that the time has come for a change. O’Donnell’s story will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT.

Clockwise from top left: U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team captain Carli Lloyd, co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn and teammates Morgan Brian and Christen Press. CBS News

The following is a transcript from an excerpt that appeared on CBS This Morning.  

Carli Lloyd: We feel like we’re treated like second-class citizens because they don’t care as much about us as they do the men.

Carli Lloyd is considered the best female soccer player in the world and captains the U.S. team. We recently spoke to her, co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn and their teammates Christen Press and Morgan Brian.

Norah O’Donnell: There’s a long history of athletes battling their employers for more pay. It happens in the NBA. It happens in the NFL. What’s different about this fight?

Christen Press: This is a social movement, I think. This is about gender discrimination and I don’t think that positive change occurs in the world unless it has to.

“We feel like we’re treated like second-class citizens because they don’t care as much about us as they do the men.” Carli Lloyd

Norah O’Donnell: How does this fight rank in some of the competitions you’ve been in?

Becky Sauerbrunn: It’s the fight, you know? I mean, we have been in some-- some major-- some major battles on the field but this is-- this could be the fight that we are a part of.

The team is made up of the best female soccer players from around the country and for 25 years they’ve ruled the world.

In 1999, when Brandi Chastain scored to beat China in the finals of the World Cup, her celebration announced the beginning of a new era in women’s sports.

For the 2015 Final, an estimated 30 million people watched on TV in the U.S. as Carli Lloyd’s three goals sealed a huge win against Japan.  It was and remains the highest-rated soccer match in American history -- including games played by the U.S. men.

Carli Lloyd: We’re America’s dream team and, we’ve been at the forefront. We’ve been at the top and I think the No. 1 team in women’s sports history.