What happens when women clearly outperform men? Spoiler alert: They still get paid less. Way less.

There is a lot of concern about the pay gap between men and women in various industries, and with very good reason. The tech industry, where women programmers make 87 percent of what men do, in particular has been heavily criticized.

Those who believe a pay gap doesn't exist, or think that there is a small one and that it's justified, often say that women choose less-demanding roles within their professions and are happy to take a hit in pay for increased flexibility. Or they say that women work fewer hours than men, or have less experience.

A recent wage-discrimination complaint by five members of the U.S. women's national soccer team blows every single one of those arguments out of the water. The women say they are being paid 40 percent less than the men, even though they're outperforming them in every way. 

The complaint was filed on behalf of the entire team against the U.S. Soccer Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The women have more recently been fighting with FIFA, saying they are consistently asked to play on potentially-dangerous artificial turf while the men play only on grass.

Now, the women are going after equal pay. And the U.S. Soccer Federation is going to have an extremely hard time arguing that the women aren't working the long hours, or aren't doing quite the same work, or aren't performing as well, as the men. In fact, in international competitions, the women's team ends up playing more games than the men, because the men tend to get eliminated in earlier rounds while the women play on.

Last year, the U.S. women's team won the women's World Cup, becoming the top women's team in the world. The final was the most-watched soccer game--men's or women's--in the U.S., ever.

In 2014, when the men played in the World Cup in Brazil, the U.S. team didn't make it past the bracket of 16 players. In short: The women are an international powerhouse. The men are not.

The soccer federation even makes more money from the women's team than they do from the men's team--about $20 million more--so it's not as if the women aren't pulling their weight economically.

Yet the women are somehow being paid less. A lot less.

The women's team got a total of $2 million for winning the World Cup. The men's team got $9 million, even though they played only four games before being knocked out. As goalie Hope Solo told Today: "We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships, and the [men] get paid more just to show up than we get paid to win major championships."

According to numbers in the complaint, the pay disparity would be significant even if both teams were mediocre. Both teams are required to play at least 20 so-called friendlies, or games that don't affect their rankings. The filing says each player on the women's team would get paid $99,000 each if they won all 20 games, while players on the men's team would likely get paid $263,320 each. Women get paid nothing extra for playing more than 20 games, while men get between $5,000 and $17,625 for each additional game. 

Then it gets petty. The women's per diem allowance when traveling is actually less than the men's. The women get $50 for each day spent traveling in the U.S.; the men get $62.50. Internationally, the women get $60 a day while the men get $75.

If there's a hotel that charges women less for a safe, clean place to sleep than it does men, could someone please let me know about it? 

Unlike many others who believe they are not being paid fairly, the women's team has some leverage: The Olympics. No one wants a strike this summer.

The players are being represented by Jeffrey Kessler, co-chair of law firm Winston & Strawn, who also has represented Tom Brady. "You have a situation where not only are [the women's] work requirements identical to the men's requirements--the same number of minimum friendlies they have to play, the same requirements to prepare for their World Cups--but they have outperformed the men both economically and on the playing field in every possible way in the last two years."

U.S. Soccer says it has not yet seen the complaint, and so couldn't comment on the details, but is "disappointed." 

Right. Disappointed. Just how many women feel when they open their paychecks.