Sweden defeats Denmark to win Olympic qualification
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl - Anna Paulson, Hanna Marklund, Karolina Westberg, Frida Östberg - Nilla Fischer, Therese Sjögran (87 Frida Nordin), Victoria Svensson, Caroline Seger - Lotta Schelin (90 Therese Lundin), Hanna Ljungberg (54 Jessica Landström)
Goals: 1-0 Lotta Schelin (43), 2-0 Victoria Svensson (45), 3-0 Victoria Svensson (PK 74), 3-1 Cathrine Paaske Sørensen (80)
Danish reports after the first leg used the word "kynisk" (the same word as cynical, with the meaning of at least unsentimental) about Sweden's play in the 4-2 win. I would say there are reason to use it again. Just like the first match, Denmark, at least up until Sweden's two fast goals minutes from half-time, had better movement and a more creative play, leading to more promising opportunities than the home team managed. But when Sweden won the ball in front of the Danish goal, they were unsentimental, cold hearted and cynical. Victoria Svensson won the ball from a Danish defensive mistake, advanced a few steps and served Lotta Schelin a perfect ball with just the finish left. And less than two minutes after Caroline Seger won the ball in midfield, advances 25 meters and passed it on to Victoria Svensson, who turned her defenders and coldly placed the ball in the far corner. The big difference between the teams was that Sweden had this kind of edge in the attack, that the Danes lacked.
The match picture was characterized by Denmark's need to win and win big, and by a surprisingly nervous, almost cramping, Swedish team. A usually reliable player like Anna Paulson disappointed greatly, getting beat by Danish forwards and misplacing most of her passes. And she wasn't the only one. A very happy Lotta Schelin, interviewed at the half-time recess, admitted that they had been very tense before the match, but with 2-0 at half-time the tension was over.
Denmark still tried in the second half, but with less conviction, and after 3-0 (Therese Sjögran dribbling past Danish defenders and setting up Victoria Svensson, who got wrestled down by Anne Dot Pedersen and rewarded with a penalty kick) it was most about saving face.
Svensk Fotboll: "Vickan" sköt Sverige till OS
Aftonbladet: ?Nu hoppas vi på revansch i Peking?
SVT: match clip video
Veterans all set for Beijing 2008
Aftonbladet: Gyllene generationen ger klartecken för Peking-OS
Linköping finding more teenagers and other player news
16 year old Maria Svensson, a big and strong defender from nearby 1st division club Saltängen, has finalized a deal with Linköping.
And another 16 year old, Tilda Heimersson from nearby Smedby, has trained with Linköping most of the fall. Heimersson is team captain for Sweden's 16 year olds and has impressed coach daniel Pettersson. "I see her as a player for the first team already".
Corren: Anfallare väljer LFC: ?Jag vill ta chansen?, 16 år och aktuell för LFC:s A-trupp
Linköping: Talang klar för LFC
Bälinge's sport director Conny Sjögren says that he is almost certain that he will win the battle with Umeå Södra over Finnish midfielder Katri Nokso-Koivisto. "I've just mailed the last draft of the contract to Katri and it will surprise me a lot if she doesn't sign", he says. Bälinge has already lost a couple of important players, like Anne Mäkinen (AIK) and Linda Sembrant (also AIK) and several other are still undecided. Nokso-Koivisto's signature is important. Sjögren says the club might sign one or two new Swedish players, but are mostly looking abroad. "In Sweden we can't find the right player quality and experience for the right price".
Upsala Nya Tidning: Nokso-Koivisto stannar i Bälinge
And I almost thought he had a contract for life, but Umeå IK's head coach Andrée Jeglertz has just signed for 2008, his fifth season with the club. "We are more than pleased with Andrée" says manager Roland Arnqvist.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Jeglertz stannar i Umeå IK
Jane Törnqvist to Göteborg, Lollo Fors to AIK and June Pedersen stays in Umeå
Göteborgsposten: Jane Törnqvist till Göteborgs FC
Hammarby's young star Lollo Fors has finally decided her new address after parting with her old club. Courted by LDB FC Malmö and Djurgården, she decided for AIK. The technically gifted 18 year old made her Damallsvenskan debut already at 14 and has the last two years been an influental player in Hammarby's team.
AIK: "Lollo" Fors nästa nyförvärv
Umeå IK's leftsider June Pedersen has extended her stay in Umeå by signing another one year contract. Coach Jeglertz says he sees her as a great alternative for left back, the position veteran Maria Bergkvist left when she retired last week.
Västerbottenskuriren: June Pedersen klar för ytterligare ett år
Sjöberg to replace ill Thunebro
Svensk Fotboll: Marlene Sjöberg ersätter Thunebro
Bente Nordby to Lyon ?
OLweb: L'OL est en contact avancé avec Bente Nordby, Rencontre avec Bente Nordby...
The French football site Foot69.fr also mentiones Malmö's Caroline Jönsson as a Lyon target in their search for goalkeeper to replace their injured Véronique Pons. But this would prove much more complicated, as Jönsson is tied to Malmö until the 2009 season.
Foot69.fr: Bente Nordby dans le colimateur
One week camp prepares Sweden for Olympic qualifier
The match will be played on Sweden's national arena Råsunda. The stadium wasn't filled last week for Sweden's men's deciding qualification match for the 2008 European Championship and it will be even less so for the women's match, but that doesn't concern Dennerby: "We like to play at Råsunda and we have never lost here".
SVT: Hanna Marklund: "Det kommer att bli chansartat" , video
Svensk Fotboll: Inget lämnas åt slumpen inför OS-kvalet
And while we're on the subject of national team matches, Sweden might play Brazil in a friendly next spring. Sweden's and Brazil's men will meet in a match on March 26 to commemorate the 1958 World Cup final between the two sides. The Kentaro group, that owns the rights to the match, has the idea that the women's sides should meet the same week. No details are set yet, but both the Swedish FA and the players would like it to happen. Umeå's Hanna Ljungberg commented that it is more fun to play with Marta than against her, "but it would be a great match for us and it's always fun to meet good competition".
Aftonbladet: Damerna får brasse-fest på Råsunda
Umeå finds teenager, newcomer clubs signs veterans
Västerbottens Folkblad: Umeå IK värvar Sofia Jakobsson
Umeå Södra's proposition to Finnish national team defender Petra Vaelma turned out to be successful, as the player reveals that she has decided to sign the offered contract. Her Finland and Bälinge teammate Katri Nokso-Koivisto says that she hasn't made up her mind yet, but will join Umeå Södra if she doesn't decide to stay in Bälinge.
Västerbottenskuriren: Petra Vaelma klar för Södra
The other newcomer, Kristianstads DFF, has not been able to finalize any transfers, but Icelandic national team midfielder Erla Arnadottir, a 23 year old Damallsvenskan veteran, is close now - "we just haven't signed any papers yet", says Arnadottir. Kristianstad also have two division 1 players on try-outs, Husie defender Therese Persson and Stattena forward Mia Westerbladh. Two former Qbik players, Therese Björck and Amelie Rybeck, will come to Kristianstad for try-outs next week.
Kristianstadsbladet: "KDFF det hetaste alternativet"
Finally, Hammarby has re-signed two of their most important players, national team forward Sara Johansson and team captain Jennie Jonsson.
Hammarby: Sara Johansson och Jennie Jonsson även 2008
UEFA Women's Cup: Umeå brush aside Wezemaal
Umeå: Ulla-Karin Rönnlund - Maria Bergkvist, Karolina Westberg, Emma Berglund, Anna Paulson - Lise Klaveness, Elaine, Hanna Ljungberg (61 Lisa Dahlqvist) - Marta, Madelaine Edlund (70 Erika Karlsson), Ramona Bachmann (61 June Pedersen)
Goals: 1-0 Own goal (6), 2-0 Madelaine Edlund (18), 3-0 Madelaine Edlund (29), 4-0 Marta (44), 5-0 Hanna Ljungberg (60), 6-0 Marta (68)
This was never a real competition and Rapide's coach Victor Crabbé before the match told UEFA.com, that "it is a match in which we hope to avoid looking ridiculous". I don't know if they managed that, but local press writes that they looked like "a bad 1st division side". Umeå scored their first three it exactly the same way, Marta coming up on the left side and and delivering the ball to Edlund inside the box. Marta scored her own two alone with the keeper after leaving the Belgian defense behind her and Hanna Ljungberg took care of a great through-ball from Maria Bergkvist. Veteran fullback Bergkvist played her last match for Umeå and was celebrated with the Player of the Match award.
With this result Umeå advances to the UEFA Women's Cup semifinal with a 10-0 aggregate. They will meet French side Olympique Lyonnaise, that defeated incumbent champions Arsenal 3-2.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Ett lika stabilt UIK som vanligt
Elaine signs two year deal with Umeå
Västerbottens Folkblad: Två år till i UIK för Elaine
The third international player that has been offered a contract by newly promoted Umeå Södra FF has turned out to be Finland's midfielder Katri Nokso-Koivisto. Nokso-Koivisto has played for Bälinge the 2007 season and before that with Finnish top side FC United together with goalkeeper Minna Meriluoto, who has signed for Södra, and defender Petra Vaelma, who is thinking over the club's proposition.
Västerbottenskuriren: Ytterligare en finska på gång till Södra
Linköping's 24 year old forward Maria Aronsson will not be offered a new contract by the club, announced sport director Anders Mäki. Aronsson, who was Linköping's main goalscorer 2007 and has 11 caps for Sweden, has offers from other Damallsvenskan clubs. Mäki says it is hard to tell a player that has been loyal to the club for a long time that she is not needed anymore, but thinks that she might get better conditions to develop in another club.
But the club is still looking for new players. They have so far contracted 15 players for 2008 and want another 4. One of these could be 20 year old Lisa Nilsson from 1st division side Dalsjöfors. Nilsson scored 15 goals for the club 2007.
Corren: Aronsson får lämna LFC, Nilsson aktuell för LFC: "Intressant"
Trips to Brazil and Canada for Umeå next spring?
In addition to their traditional pre-season camp in Turkey (this year in February), it seems like Umeå IK might take two more trips abroad to prepare for the UEFA Women's Cup semifinals in late March and early April 2008.
Both the possbile semifinal teams, Lyon and Arsenal, plays the continental fall/spring season and will be in season for the spring matches. Umeå on the other hand will not have their first Damallsvenskan matches until mid April. They need to find a better way to get match fit than training matches on the frozen fields of northern Scandinavia.
The plans are not finalized, but Umeå will probably spend two weeks in March on a training camp in Vancouver, Canada. The camp would include a couple of matches against local combinations.
Furthermore, Brazil has asked Umeå if they are interested in coming over for a couple of exhibition games. Manager Roland Arnqvist is delighted, "it would be awesome", and Marta, who was the first to be contacted by the Brazilian FA, thinks it would be fantastic to play at home with Umeå. Umeå has answered that they would like to come and that they would prefere late January for the trip. Nothing decided here either, but it looks promising.
The relations between Umeå and Brazil has been fairly close for several years. Brazil's national team has been in Umeå for pre-championship camps both 2004 and 2007.
Västerbottenskuriren: Kan bli tre resor för Umeå IK i vår Brasilien bjuder in Umeå IK för matcher
Umeå's Maria Bergkvist forced to quit, Frida Östberg returns (?)
Maria Bergkvist has been in the team for 9 years, won 6 Swedish championships and two UEFA Cups.
Västerbottenskuriren: Chockbeskedet: "Berka" tvingas sluta
Possible replacement for Bergkvist? Frida Östberg! Umeå newspapers claims that the former Linköping player already has agreed to return to Umeå. Umeå's manager Roland Arnqvist admits he has been in touch with Östberg "and we will hopefully talk some more shortly", but he denies there is any deal and Frida Östberg refuses to comment. Umeå's main competitor here is Kif Örebro, where Richard Holmlund says that he has been talking to Frida a couple of months, that he would love to sign her but that he doubts that she wants to start over again in a team like Örebro.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Östberg tillbaka i UIK
Nerikes Allehanda: KIF-tränaren vågar inte tro på Östberg
Jessica Landström to Linköping
Landström is joined by 18 year old Petronella Ekroth. The young midfielder, presently playing for Östers IF in the 1st division, has been sought after by half the damallsvenskan clubs, including Umeå. "I want to take one step at the time", she explains her decision to turn down Umeå.
Expressen: Landström klar för Linköping
Unrelated player news:
Matilda Forslund, who has been a key player for Umeå Södra during their promotion winning season, has signed a two year contract with Sunnanå. The 18 year old lives in Skellefteå and has commuted to Umeå the last season.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Umeå Södra förlorar nyckelspelare
Norra Västerbotten: Matilda klar för Sunnanå
Umeå Södra has now signed a contract with Finnish national team goalkeeper Minna Merilouto. The 22 year old FC United keeper says that the opportunity to play in Damallsvenskan will mean a lot for her development as a player. Södra also reveals that one of the other two international players they're talking to is Finland's Petra Vaelma. The 25 year old has 60 caps for Finland and has played for Bälinge the 2007 season. Not entirely successful though, since she was on loan to 1st division side Eskilstuna the last part of the season.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Södra värvar finskt
Umeå Södra offers contracts to three international players
All three players are offered professional full time contracts, but Carlén adds that "they will probably want to have another job on the side". The newly promoted club will probably have the smallest budget of all Damallsvenskan clubs 2008 and pay wages accordingly.
Carlén obviously wants to keep the identity his two remaining prospects secret, but he gives up a lot of information that narrows it down to only a few players. My guess is that we are talking about either a Nigerian (Faith Ikidi and Maureen Mmadu or Cynthia Uwak) or a USA (Jill Oakes and Kacey White) duo, even if some lesser known names also fits the description.
Västerbottenskuriren: Landslagsmålis på gång för Södra
Djurgården's Danish defender Dorte Dalum Jensen, whose contract finished after the 2007 season, has agreed to join Norwegian 5th place Team Strømmen.
Team Strømmen: 2 nye spillere klare for Team Strømmen
Qbik relegation sale
Already this summer Jennifer Meier and Rebecca Jonsson signed for Djurgården.
Jenny Hallstenson is close to signing a contract with Kopparbergs/Göteborg.
Defender Amelie Rybeck and goalkeeper Maria Yatrakis are also supposed to be on the list over prospective signings for the Göteborg club. And I would say that Yatrakis being mentioned in connection with Göteborg probably means that the club has sobered up from their Hope Solo dreams.
Charlotte Nygren moves north and will probably end up in 1st division top side Piteå or Damallsvenskan's Sunnanå.
Young talent Julia Spetsmark is close to sign for local competitors Mallbacken.
Back-up goalkeeper My Axelsson moves to Stockholm.
Ann-Sofie Halvarsson och Lovisa Ericsson quits.
Elin Sandberg is thinking over offers from Jitex and Mallbacken in the 1st division as well as college football in Florida.
Anna Nilsson will probably take a step down and play for Skoghall in the 3rd division.
Nya Wermlandstidningen: Stjärnflykt inom damfotbollen
Nanna Johansen back to Denmark, Sembrant to AIK
LDB FC Malmö: Nanna lämnar LdB FC
Bälinge's team captain Linda Sembrant leaves the club to join AIK. AIK's Peter Johansson calls her one of Sweden's most promising players. He is pleased to be able to fill the spot in AIK's defense after Sanna Valkonen.
Bälinge has on the other hand found new players to their much-in-need-for-improvement attack. Sunnanå's 21 year old Emma Jonsson has joined sought-after Ida Brännström, who joined from Sundsvalls DFF a short time ago. Bäliunge's coach Zaine Söderlund hopes that the two youngsters will make up the back-bone in Bälinge's new attack. Brännström is more of a target player, while Jonsson first and foremost has speed.
Bälinge is also looking at a foreign attacker, name so far not released.
Upsala Nya Tidning: Linda Sembrant till AIK, Sunnanåforward ska blomma ut i Bälinge, Guldskovinnare till Bälinge
Hammarby's Belgian midfielder Marijke Callebaut will return to Djurgården. Callebaut joined Djurgården 2004 and played with them until the summer 2005. She had problems holding a place as a starter and used a clause in her contract to change clubs to Hammarby. She has developed since and has this season been an influental player with Hammarby.
Djurgården: Marijke åter till Djurgården
Elaine stays in Umeå, Frida Östberg leaves Linköping
Västerbottenskuriren: Elaine - proffs kluvet av längtan hem
In nother Umeå news, Hanna Folkesson, recently named MVP in the 1st division north, has decided to turn dowm Umeå IK and several other Damallsvenskan sides to stay with newly promoted Umeå Södra FF. "It seems like Södra is a better alternative for me. I feel at home here and I will get more playing time than with Umeå IK".
Umeå Södra has so far about ten players signed for their first damallsvenskan season 2008. They are working hard to reinforce their team for next season and are currently looking at the international market. No names mentioned though.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Södra ute efter nyförvärv, ...fick Hanna att stanna
To continue with the Umeå angle, former Umeå player and long-time Swedish international Frida Östberg has decided to leave Linköping FC. She hasn't decided if she wants to continue playing at all, but if Sweden qualifies for the Olympic games next year, the chances increase. Linköping's manager Anders Mäki says Frida's leaving is a loss for the club, not only on the field but also outside where she has been the club's big poster-name.
If Östberg continues in Damallsvenskan, the rumour is that she will join her former Umeå coach Richard Holmlund at Kif Örebro.
Corren: Frida Östberg lämnar LFC
Another Linköping player, forward Maria Aronsson, also seems to be on her way out. She still hasn't been offered a contract by the club and she has been in touch with other clubs, including a visit to AIK.
Aronsson was the club's best goalscorer 2007 with 9 goals and Linköping needs to strengthen their attack, but keeping Aronsson doesn't seem to be a top priority. They have made an verbal offer to Sweden's newborn star Jessica Landström, on her way from Hammarby, but they are not the only ones that are interested. But manager Mäki thinks that Djurgården, that are probably their main competitors here, already has strained their wage budget to the limit with the signings of Hingst, Svensson and Angerer.
Corren: Ovisst för Aronsson: "Vad ska man göra?"
UEFA Women's Cup: Comfortable win for Umeå over Rapide Wezemaal
Umeå: Ulla-Karin Rönnlund - Anna Paulsson, Emma Berglund, Karolina Westberg, Maria Bergqvist - Madelaine Edlund (81 June Pedersen), Lisa Dahlkvist, Erika Karlsson - Ramona Bachmann, Hanna Ljungberg (65 Emmelie Konradsson), Marta
Goals: 0-1 Marta (9), 0-2 Karolina Westberg (31), 0-3 Ramona Bachmann (74), 0-4 Marta (90)
Umeå's assistant coach Steve Galloway spent the weekend checking out Umeå's quarter final opponents Rapide wezemaal in their 4-3 win over Standard Femina and commented that Marta and Hanna would have a field day if Rapide didn't play better than they showed in that match.
Maybe Rapide shaped up a bit. Umeå won rather comfortably with 0-4, but coach Jeglertz commented "we did what we're supposed to" and added that they will do better in the home leg next week.
SVT: "Julafton för Hanna och Marta", Marta tvåmålsskytt när Umeå vann
Sporza.be: Rapide Wezemaal kan Marta niet afstoppen (video)
By the way, Umeå went to Belgium on a chartered jet, paid for by TV4. Umeå had explained to the broadcaster of the Swedish Football Awards Gala that they coundn't attend, since there were no connections to Belgium early Tuesday morning. But TV4 really wanted the team, and Marta, on the show and chartered a plane for the team.
Relief in Sweden after qualification match win
In the pre-match comments it had been very much doom and gloom. Not only risked Sweden missing out on a major championship, unprecedented in Sweden's women's football, the national team players would also lose their stipends from the Olympic Committee with possibly dire consequences for a lot of Damallsvenskan clubs. A Denmark win was looked upon as not only possible, but perhaps likely. And this in spite of the fact that Sweden hadn't lost to Denmark for more than five years and, in spite of underperforming, defeated Denmark on their home ground just before the World Cup.
Sweden's confident win has been attributed to Dennerby's "back to basics" approach. Sweden started with the old, comfortable and safe 4-4-2. Dennerby went for old, comfortable and safe in defense and let Sjögran and Schelin play in the centre, where they are used to roam in their clubs, instead of on the wings. Not until Hanna Ljungberg was deemed not fit to start, the team was spiced up with an unexpected debutant. Both the defense and Sjögran/Schelin lived up to his expectations and debutant Jessica Landström must have exceeded them. Not only did she score, she played well, unconcerned that she was now on the big arena, and worked fine with Lotta Schelin.
The 22 year old Hammarby player was in a great mood after the match and wow-ed when she was shown the sport section of one of the major papers, with herself sharing the front page with Henrik Larsson "I'm gonna frame that!".
Jessica Landström played for Dennerby when he coached Djurgården 2003-2004, but didn't get much playing time and didn't get a renewed contract. She joined the smaller Stockholm side Hammarby, with a complete lack of self-confidence says En Perlskog who coached her, but began to work her way back. Not without problems though and a year ago she was close to giving up top football, as it seemed a far too expensive and time-consuming hobby. She was however convinced to look upon herself as first and foremost a footballer and it seems like the committment has worked well for her. But to me is seems a little bit early to brand her "the next big thing" or Sweden's Wambach.
Aftonbladet: ?Du får mig aldrig att säga att det är klart? , Simon Bank: ?Ett lag reste sig ur spillrorna efter VM? Dagens Nyheter: Raka spåret till Peking
Jessica Landström var nära att sluta med fotbollen - nu är hon Sveriges ny fotbollshjälte
SVT: OS-kvalhjältinnan: Jag bara njuter (video)
The second leg of the qualification matches will be played November 28. Umeå keep training as they have the UEFA Cup quarter finals in November and the big clubs (Djurgården, Malmö, Linköping) has agreed to keep on training until the national team reassembles on November 21, but players from the smaller clubs will have some problems keeping fit. Jessica Landström will be training with Djurgården and Sunnanå's Hanna Marklund has found some high-school boy's teams.
Aftonbladet: Marklund ska hålla formen med skollag
Sundhage takes over USA
The US Soccer federation today announced that they have hired former Kif örebro coach Pia Sundhage for the job as head coach for the US national team.
Sundhage's former coach partner Marika Lyfors Domanski says that it is a great honour for Swedish football. Pia comments that she is very happy, that it feels like a big challenge and that she is a bit nervous for having to try to speak proper English at the press conference.
USsoccer: Pia Sundhage Named Head Coach of the U.S. Women's National Team
Expressen: "En ära för svensk fotboll"
Rebecca Smith resigns with Sunnanå
Norra Västerbotten: Rebecca kör ett år till
Other player news:
First division side Öster's talented young defender Petronella Ekeroth visited Linköping in her tour to Damallsvenskan clubs. She has already visited Umeå IK and AIK, Djurgården, Örebro and Kristianstad are also on the list over clubs that hav announced their interest. The 18 year old says it is a big and very hard decision wether to sign for one of the big clubs and risk benchtime or go for a smaller one, where she probably could get more match experience.
Corren: Jättelöftet funderar på LFC: "Jättesvårt beslut"
Qbik's team captain Jenny Hallstensson, who has been with the club since she was 8 years old, is close to moving to Göteborg. The club's new Torbjörn Nilsson has expressed serious interest in the 27 year old defender/midfielder and Hallstensson says that she would like to continue playing at the highest level.
Värmlands Folkblad: Kaptenen på väg bort
Coach of the Year: Andrée Jeglertz, Umeå IK - to me it seems more motivated this year than last. He's had more problems to overcome with the mass exodus from his 2006 team but also more failures - the defeat in the UEFA Women's Cup final, the failure to integrate Ma Xiaoxu in the team and losing matches to domestic competition. But I do think it's a bit boring to just see the ones that coached the champions win this award every year (it's the same for the men). Why not somebody like Kenneth Israelsson, who's done great with his much lesser resources.
Breakthrough of the Year: Linda Forsberg, Djurgården - the breakthrough price usually goes to a player that has taken the step to establish herself in the national team. So it is in a way Dennerby that picks the winner. But I can't say she is less deserving than any ther of the nominees.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Bente Nordby, Djurgården - I was hoping for this. If you were simply looking for the best, it was Nordby or Caroline Jönsson and Carre dropped out (knee injury) after a little bit more than half the season. And it's a nice goodbye to a great player, who now leaves Sweden and maybe football.
Defender of the Year: Hanna Marklund, Sunnanå - she subscribes to this award, but it is hard to argue against her. If Djurgården had let Hingst play defense instead of midfield, we might have had a match.
Midfielder of the Year: Therese Sjögran, LDB FC Malmö - even if her Malmö teammate Nilla Fischer had higher ratings in the local paper, Sjögrans national team performance made the difference.
Forward of the Year: Marta Vieira da Silva, Umeå IK - the best player in the world must be the best something in Sweden too, mustn't she?
The Player of the Year, the Diamond Ball: Therese Sjögran, LDB FC Malmö - there are never any nominees for this and it can only be won by a Swedish player. There has been a lot of names mentioned, but fairly few had picked Sjögran. To me she was the obvious choice, a dominating figure in the league and one of few in the national team that didn't disappoint but rather impressed in the World Cup. Big night for Malmö by the way - Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the Gold Ball.
TV4's football website, fotbollskanalen.se, had a people's choice award where the viewers could phone in their votes on one of four alternatives of people or groups of people that had done something extraordinary for football the last year. The winner: Marta, for her performance the entire season, but in particular in the World Cup.
Aftonbladet: Alla vinnare från Fotbollsgalan, pictures, Marta video
Expressen: pictures, more pictures
LDB FC Malmö's forward and Iceland's captain Asthildur Helgadottir has decided to give up football. The 31 year old target player, who has recieved serious injuries during her career, got hurt in the match against AIK this spring and never really recovered. A surgery in August wasn't entirely successful and Helgadottir decided that she doesn't want to risk permanent disability. Helgadottir scored 17 and 19 goals for Malmö the 2005 and 2006 seasons and the absence of a healthy Asta has visibly hurt Malmö's goalscoring this season.
Malmö's Danish international Nanna Johansen seems to be on her way from Malmö. The young winger has had problems establishing herself as a starter and will probably return to the Danish league.
Expressen: Karriären över för Asta
Sydsvenskan: Karriären över för Helgadottir
Hammarby's young star Lollo Fors will leave the club. "There is nothing wrong with the coaches and players in Hammarby, but I feel a need to move to take the next step in my development", she says. The two other Stockholm sides Djurgården and AIK are possible destinations as well as LDB FC Malmö. The 18 year old, who is still in high-school, visited Malmö last week and says she will make up her mind early next week. Malmö's Jörgen Petersson hopes she joins Malmö: "She is a player that stands out and we want her to do that. It is important to take care of the profiles we have in the league".
Fotbollskanalen: AIK, DIF eller Malmö för Lollo Fors
Sydsvenskan: Supertalang på väg in
Sanna Valkonen, 30 year old Finnish defender with more than 100 caps, leaves AIK and signs for Kif Örebro. Valkonen had present Örebro coach Richard Holmlund as her coach in Umeå a few years back. She will be joined in Örebro by two 18 year olds, midfielder Sara Fröjdfeldt and forward Kim Ekebom, both from Eskilstuna United in the 1st division and with experience from Swedish youth national teams. Fröjdfeldt (daughter to the internationally known referee Peter F) has been one of Umeå IK's targets lately, which probably adds to Holmlund's pleasure.
Nerikes Allehanda: Klart idag: Rutin och talang förstärker KIF
Linköping FC reveals that they want to sign Sweden's newborn forward star Jessica Landström from Hammarby. Chairman Christer Mård points out that they were in touch with her before she got called up for the Denmark match, but also admits that they aren't the only ones that are persuing her. Stockholm sides Djurgården, where Landström has played before, and AIK are mentioned.
Linköping are also looking at relegated Qbik's 25 year old defender Amelie Rybäck, who also has attracted interest from newcomers Kristianstad. But coach Daniel Pettersson stresses that their first priority is a "notorious goalscorer".
Corren: LFC vill värva succédebutanten, Rybäck på LFC:s lista
Sweden veteran defender Hanna Marklund hasn't decided if she wants to continue playing. "I will make up my mind after the next match", she told local paper Norran after the first of the two Olympic Qualification matches against Denmark.
Norra Västerbotten: Fortfarande osäkert om Hanna åker till OS
Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC's goalkeeper Maria Edman has signed a one plus one year contract with newcomers Kristianstads DFF. In spite of being a fairly young keeper (she is 23), Maria has played 5 seasons in Damallsvenskan. The south Swedish club has also renewed the contract with their coach duo Thomas Mårtensson and Ulf Palmquist.
Kristianstadsbladet: Maria Edman klar för KDFF ? liksom Ulf-Thomas
Hammarby has renewed their contract with Swiss national team keeper Kathrin Lehmann. Lehmann came to Hammarby during the summer transfer window and has helped stabilize the teams defense. Hammarby has also signed relegated Falköping's 24 year old midfielder Madeleine Tegström and 20 year old defender Karin Lissel from 1st division side Ornäs.
Hammarby: Kathrin Lehmann klar för 2008, Madeleine Tegström från Falköping till Hammarby, Karin Lissel från Ornäs till Hammarby Damfotboll
Qbik's Charlotte Nygren leaves the club and moves north to Piteå. Her boyfriend works in the small army town Arvidsjaur, only 120 kilometers away. She might play in Piteå IF, that challenged Umeå Södra for the promotion to Damallsvenskan, but Sunnanå is only 60 kilometers away.
Another Piteå player, 17 year old Emelie Lövgren, might also be moving clubs to Sunnanå. The young defender has been approached by Sunnanå and is interested.
Damfotboll.com: QBIK tappar Charlotte Nygren
Norra Västerbotten: Nyförvärv till Sunnanå?
And finally, Umeå Ik has signed 16 year old local talent Emma Åberg-Zingmark from lower division side Ersboda. She is according to Umeå's coach Andrée Jeglertz already good enough to be able to copmpete for a position in the team.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Storlöfte klar för Umeå IK
Debutant Landström shines as Sweden defeats Denmark
Denmark - Sweden 2 - 4 (1-1)
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl (Linköping) - Anna Paulson (Umeå), Hanna Marklund (Sunnanå), Karolina Westberg (Umeå), Frida Östberg (Linköping) - Nilla Fischer (Malmö) [64 Frida Nordin (Malmö)], Therese Sjögran (Malmö), Victoria Svensson (Djurgården), Caroline Seger (Linköping) - Lotta Schelin (Göteborg), Jessica Landström (Hammarby) [80 Hanna Ljungberg (Umeå)]
Goals: 0-1 Jessica Landström (31), 1-1 Cathrine Paaske Sørensen (32), 1-2 Lotta Schelin (46), 1-3 Caroline Seger (48), 1-4 Lotta Schelin (64), 2-4 Maiken Pape (73 PK)
Denmark opened strong with much better passing and movement than the Swedish side on the wet and windy pitch. A Swedish side that might have been weighted by the predictions of imminent doom for Swedish women's football if the team don't qualify for the 2008 Olympics, that Swedish media had been handing out freely the last days. Sweden didn't manage to create anything really promising until debutant Jessica Landström scored after 30 minutes, smartly converting a rebound from the Danish keeper, who couldn't hold on to a heavy shot from Therese Sjögran. But Denmark immideately hit back as Cathrine Paaske Sørensen scored on a header - the headers that the Swedish side feared the most. It looked nervous at halftime, it was a draw by all means, but the Danish side seemed to have the upper hand. But almost direct after the second half kick-off the picture changed. Lotta Schelin was gifted the ball by the Danish defense and scored followed Caroline Seger making it 3-1 only minutes later with a great volley shot on a Sjögran pass. Sweden now played tight and aggressive, always close at the back of the Danish players as soon as they got the ball, breaking passes and regaining possession. Besides some set pieces the Danish didn't manage to threaten Sweden's goal from inside the box and the long shots were off target. Lotta Schelin made it 1-4 as she chipped a long ball over Denmark's Heidi Johansen in goal. Denmark then got a rather easy penalty from what looked like a dive by Pape and made it 2-4. Denmark tried hard to get at least another goal, but Sweden played experienced and just waited out the match.
Svensk Fotboll: 4-2 mot Danmark ett stor steg mot OS
Dagens Nyheter: Svensk storseger i OS-kvalet , pictures
SVT: match clip
As those of you who follow Swedish media or the ever excellent ooosasoccer.com already knows, this match finally was broadcasted on the webb by Sweden's main daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter. Originally Danish TV2 had the broadcasting rights and planned to cover the match. They changed their minds and Swedish TV4, that had planned to buy the pictures from TV2, gave up the idea to send the match. Swedish players, among them Caroline Seger and Therese Sjögran, protested loudly. "I can understand if they don't send an away match in Bulgaria, but this match is important". Finally, Sweden's major daily, Dagens Nyheter, bought the broadcasting rights from TV2 and did a webcast of the match. "Barefoot TV", as they called it themselves, with only one camera, but of course a great alternative to not getting the match at all.
Dagens Nyheter: DN.se sänder Sveriges OS-kval
And Larsson rules!
Marta and the money
Västerbottens Folkblad: Marta valde Umeå ? och kompisarna
Västerbottenskuriren: "Skönt att det är klart"
Marta's contract gives her a monthly salary at SEK 100,000, at least according to the anonymous sources "with good insight in the club", that tabloid Expressen refers to. The contract starts in February and should reach over November, so that is 10 months, which gives us the nice round figure of SEK 1 million a year. This should be, still according to unconfirmed rumours, almost twice as much as she gets in her current contract.
Expressen: Dubblar sin lön från 50 000 kronor till 100 0000
Marta is of course in a league of her own, but she is not the only one to make good money. Elin Ekblom, regular guest on TV4's Monday morning show, commented that the growing difference in salary between foreign stars (Hingst and Angerer were mentioned) and Swedish players can become a problem. She stressed that she had no problems with the money Marta got - she is worth it, but meant that it is important for the clubs to raise the wage floor. The average salary in Damallsvenskan was about SEK 50,000 a year last season with many players getting significantly less.
The details in player contracts are almost never made public, so it is not easy to get any hard data here. But if a player pays taxes in Sweden, you can get some information from the players tax returns. For the tabloids this is always selling news and they usually publicize different compilation of celebrities earnings. This is Expressen's list for sport stars earnings 2005: http://extra.expressen.se/pdf/samycket.pdf. These figures should be used with caution. It is not how much the player made, it's how much she paid taxes for, after deductions. It is not what the club paid her, it's all incomes that the player pays taxes for in Sweden. The figures here relates to incomes earned 2005. The amount of money the clubs paid for player wages doubled in 2006, so there is a good chance that a player is making significantly more money today than she did 2005. If you don't want to look through 6 pages of small print, here's some highlights:
Victoria Svensson, Djurgården, SEK 342,900
Sofia Lundgren, AIK, SEK 157,200
Sanna Valkonen, AIK, SEK 223,100
Sara Johansson, Hammarby, SEK 165,400
Caroline Jönsson, Malmö, SEK 175,600
Therese Sjögran, Malmö, SEK 298,200
Nilla Fischer, Malmö, SEK 187,200
Hanna Marklund, Sunnanå, SEK 329,100
Anne Mäkinen, Umeå, SEK 310,300
Karolina Westberg, Umeå, SEK 204,100
Hanna Ljungberg, Umeå, SEK 276,100
Marta Da Silva, Umeå, SEK 488,400
Lotta Schelin, Göteborg, SEK 286,500
Hedvig Lindahl, Linköping, SEK 300,800
Frida Östberg, Linköping, SEK 252,500
Josefine Öqvist, Linköping, SEK 301,500
Caroline Seger, Linköping, SEK 175,400
Potsdam's Schröder confirms Angerer's transfer
PNN online: Angerer verlässt Turbine
FFNews: Grünes Licht für Angerer-Wechsel nach Stockholm
Icelandic player prospects at Djurgården
Another piece of news from the broadcast, less encouraging for Djurgården fans, is that newly married winger Elin Ekblom "with 99 % certainty" will leave the team and also top football after this season to devote herself to work and family. Ekblom has been one of Djurgården's most valuable players and would probably also have had a good shot at a national team spot, had she not declined that already last year. The remaining 1 % is according to TV4 not about Djurgården, but would be following coach Benny Persson to AIK.
No link, just relating talk on TV4
Damallsvenskan final round: Marta signs for 2008
Aftonbladet: Marta stannar i Umeå
Dagens Nyheter: Glädjebeskedet: Marta stannar
AIK - Kif Örebro 0 - 0 (0-0)
AIK: Sofia Lundgren - Madelene Göras, Frida Höglund, Sanna Valkonen, Linda Lekander - Camilla Ulander Nilsson (60 Anna Lundin), Jessica Juhlin, Kacey White, Ingrid Bohlin (60 Madelene Wedin) - Sofia Simonsson, Freja Egebrand (76 Patricia Lind)
Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Ingrid Ericson, Stina Segerström, Malin Nilsson, Lena Andersson, Marie Hammarström, Marie Stålberg, Caroline Näfver, Elin Magnusson, Elin Rydberg, Marina Pettersson
Bälinge - Hammarby 0 - 2 (0-1)
Goals: 0-1 Marijke Callebaut (36), 0-2 Jessica Landström (49)
Djurgården - Umeå IK 3 - 5 (1-4)
Djurgården: Bente Nordby - Dorte Dalum Jensen, Jane Törnqvist, Therese Brogårde, Sara Thunebro - Elin Ekblom, Ariane Hingst (68 Malin Engdahl), Anna Hall, Ann-Marie Norlin - Emma Lundh (29 Anna Lagerberth), Victoria Svensson
Umeå: Carola Söberg - Anna Paulsson, Karolina Westberg, Emma Berglund (63 Erika Karlsson), Lisa Dahlqvist, Madelaine Edlund (46 Hanna Ljungberg), Lise Klaveness, Ramona Bachmann (71 June Pedersen), Elaine Moura, Marta da Silva, Maria Bergkvist
Goals: 0-1 madeleine Edlund (9), 0-2 Marta (16), 1-2 Jane Törnqvist (19), 1-3 Marta, 1-4 Madeleine Edlund (30), 1-5 Hanna Ljungberg (73), 2-5 Sara Thunebro (77), 3-5 Victoria Svensson (87)
SVT: Hanna Ljungberg gjorde comeback (video)
Kopparbergs/Göteborg - Sunnanå 2 - 3 (1-2)
Göteborg: Maria Edman (46 Sandra Bjurteg) - Elin Dahl Örn, Jenny Engwall, Maria Nilsson, Maria Karlsson - Sofie Andersson, Lisa Ek, Salina Olsson, Johanna Almgren (46 Emelie Farfa) - Lotta Schelin, Sara Lindén,
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund - Josefin Johansson, Sandra Berggren, Hanna Marklund, Anna Bodén, Kristina Wiklund, Maria Nordbrandt (78 Emma Jonsson), Mirjam Marklund, Lina Johansson, Johanna Lindahl, Alexandra Nilsson
Goals: 1-0 Lotta Schelin (2), 1-1 Johanna Lindahl (36), 1-2 Josefin Johansson (41), 2-2 Emmelie Farfa (61), 2-3 Emma Jonsson (81)
Linköping FC - LDB FC Malmö 1 - 0 (0-0)
Linköping: Hedvig Lindahl - Daniela Diluca, Sara Larsson (86 Maria Lindström), Charlotte Rohlin, Marie-Louise Skålberg - Ann Westermark, Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (65 Maria Karlsson), Caroline Seger, Frida Östberg - Maria Aronsson, Kosovare Asllani
Malmö: Stephanie Öhrström - Therese Jönsson, Malin Levenstad, Emma Wilhelmsson, Lina Nilsson (46 Emelie Ölander) - Frida Nordin, Nilla Fischer, Dora Stefansdottir, Emma Stålhammar - Therese Lundin, Manon Melis (73 Nanna Johansen)
Goals: 1-0 Caroline Seger (60 PK)
Qbik - Falköping 1 - 2 (1-1)
Qbik: Maria Yatrakis - Ifeoma Dieke, Anna Nilsson, Lisa Mellberg, Julia Spetsmark (73 Malin Barrulf), Jenny Hallstenson, Therése Lückner, Amelie Rybäck, Therése Björk, Elin Sandgren, Michelle O'Brien
Falköping: Malin Andersson - Nettan Hofling, Elin Osbeck, Anna Larsson, Sandra Krantz (90 Madeleine Tegström), Josefine Alfsson, Camilla Sanderheim (62 Emma Eriksson), Sofia Fröjdstedt, Cynthia Uwak (81 Rebecka Blennow), Jill Oakes, Kimberly Brandao (55 red card)
Goals: 0-1 Sandra Krantz (30), 1-1 Ifeoma Dieke (39), 1-2 Sandra Krantz (84)
Angerer to replace Nordby in Djurgården's goal!
Djurgården chairman Per Darnell tells that they have been in touch with Angerer for several years, but she has so far not been ready to move. It seems like her view on a foreign professional career has change once she established herself as a starter in the German national team. Djurgården has a well established friendly relation with Angerer's club Turbine Potsdam, which led to Ariane Hingst's move to the Swedish side in April 2007 and has probably also facilitated Angerer's move. The 29 year old will sign a two year contract with Djurgården and join the club in January 2008.
Per Darnell also says that he might be able to offer Bente Nordby, who has coaching ambitions, a position with the club's staff if he can solve the financial side of it.
Fotbollskanalen: Angerer klar för Djurgården
Djurgården's Ariane Hingst played 82 minutes and 90 minutes respectively when Germany defeated Belgium 3-0 at home and Netherlands 0-1 away. Malmö's Manon Melis played 90 for the Dutch side.
Ramona Bachman, Umeå's feisty young forward, started for her Swiss side at Wales (a 0-2 win for the Swiss) but picked up her second yellow after 87 minutes and was shown off the field. Chech republic drew Spain at home 2-2, and Kif Örebro's Pavlina Scasna had to leave with a knee injury with only three minutes left to play.
Norway defeated Russia 3-0 with Bente Nordby (Djurgården) in goal and Ingvild Stensland (Kopparbergs/Göteborg) playing 70 minutes midfield. Denmark defeated Portugal 5-1 at home, Falköping's Kimberly Brandão playing for the Portugese side. In Denmark's away win over Scotland (0-1), Malmö's Nanna Johansen came in the last 5 minutes. When Scotland defeated Slovakia away 0-3, Qbik's Ifeoma Dieke started and I'll guess she started against Denmark too, but I haven't been able to confirm that.
Denmark's Johanna Rasmussen goes to Umeå
Umeå IK today announced that they have reached an agreement on a one year contract with Denmark's winger/forward Johanna Rasmussen, presently playing for Fortuna Hjørring in Denmark's premier league. Umeå's Andrée Jeglertz calls Rasmussen a super signing and in particular mentions her "speed and her sensitive left foot". Rasmussen says that going to Umeå is "a wonderful challenge and a great opportunity".
24 year old Johanna Rasmussen was approached by Umeå already before the 2007 season, but didn't want to change clubs and leave Denmark just before the World Cup. She is Umeå's first new signing for 2008, but it is expected that she will be followed be more.
Västerbottens Folkblad: UIK värvar dansk stjärna
At the other end of the Damallsvenskan spectrum, newcomers Kristianstads DFF are close to signing Göteborg's goalkeeper Maria Edman. Kristianstad's sport director Ulf Berglund says that the 23 year old won't give any answer until after the season is finished, but adds that they have met in Kristianstad and that she is pleased with the club and the club is pleased with her.
Berglund also confirms that he still is in talks with Erla Arnardottír (last club Jersey Sky Blue in USA) and Therese Björck (Qbik) and will have former Malmö attacker Mia Westerbladh (now Stattena) and Husie's defender Therese Persson on trial. He finally conforms that he has initiated contacts with "two younger, but still well-qualified players", just on the verge of the US national team.
Kristianstadsbladet: KDFF på jakt efter amerikanska spelare