LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The lawyer for the boycotting U.S. women's soccer players met Tuesday with negotiators for the U.S. Soccer Federation, and the USSF called the meeting productive.

The women, who won the World Cup last summer, say the USSF isn't paying them enough and they refused to play in the Australia Cup earlier this month.

The USSF sent a team of college-age players, which won the tournament, and also plans to use college-age players again for a Feb. 6 exhibition against Norway in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

New coach April Heinrichs, hired last week, doesn't know when the players will return as she begins preparations for the Americans' defense of the Olympic gold medal at the Sydney Games.

The USSF said after the meeting that it is ``optimistic.''

``We hope to have a deal very shortly,'' said John Collins, the USSF's general counsel.

John Langel, the lawyer for the boycotting women, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.