After not being selected to the team's 26-player residency camp in January, Debbie Keller, a member of the U.S. Women's National Team player pool, filed an action on Feb. 26 challenging U.S. Soccer's decision, claiming it was based on retaliation for her on-going litigation against the University of North Carolina. In announcing their decision against Keller, the arbitration panel found there had been no retaliation by U.S. Soccer toward Ms. Keller.
"With this matter behind us, our players, coaches and administrative staff can continue to focus on the most important task at hand, which is winning the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup on July 10 in Pasadena, Calif.," said U.S. Soccer Secretary General Hank Steinbrecher.
"U.S. Soccer has supported our coaches throughout this process, understanding that the selection of a team is very subjective in nature and never an easy task. We are happy that the arbitrators have shown the trust in our coaches was well-placed. At this time, we wish Ms. Keller good luck in all her future endeavors.
"U.S. Soccer's women's programs are among the most extensive and progressive in the world, and the Federation is proud of its accomplishments and continuing efforts to promote women's sports."
U.S. Soccer was represented at the arbitration by John P. Collins, general counsel for the U.S. Soccer Federation, and Mike Conway and the law firm of Grippo & Elden.