5:54 PM PT -- U.S. Soccer has released a statement of its own ... saying, "We have said numerous times that our goal is to find a resolution, and during mediation we had hoped we would be able to address the issues in a respectful manner and reach an agreement."
"Unfortunately, instead of allowing mediation to proceed in a considerate manner, plaintiffs' counsel took an aggressive and ultimately unproductive approach that follows months of presenting misleading information to the public in an effort to perpetuate confusion."
They continued ... "We always know there is more we can do. We value our players, and have continually shown that, by providing them with compensation and support that exceeds any other women's team in the world."
"Despite inflammatory statements from their spokesperson, which are intended to paint our actions inaccurately and unfairly, we are undaunted in our efforts to continue discussions in good faith."
Equal pay mediation between the U.S. Women's national team and the U.S. Soccer Federation has gotten UGLY ... and now the dispute is likely heading to court.
Remember, the USWNT sued the Federation back in March for gender discrimination -- claiming, "The female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts."
The USWNT had agreed to meet with the USSF in New York City this week to discuss the heated issue ... but according to team spokesperson Molly Levinson, both sides remain far apart.
"We entered this week’s mediation with representatives of USSF full of hope," Levinson says. "Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the Federation’s determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior."
"It is clear that USSF, including its Board of Directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed."
Of course ... Cordeiro made his stance very clear last month ... saying the women's team actually makes MORE than the men's team, despite bringing in a lot less.
He even provided a fact sheet to back up his claim.
Levinson continued ... "We want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world, and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial."