Match-day 15: Qbik still winless after late Örebro equaliser

Mallbacken - Djurgården/Älvsjö 0 - 4 (0-4)
Djurgården/Älvsjö: Bente Nordby - Kristin Bengtsson, Jane Törnqvist (60 Dorte Dalum Jensen), Therese Brogårde, Sara Thunebro - Katrine Pedersen, Anna Hall, Linda Fagerström, Elin Ekblom (74 Annemarie Norlin) - Laura Österberg Kalmari, Victoria Svensson (77 Sofia Simonsson)  
Goals: 0-1 Laura Kalmari (16), 0-2 Elin Ekblom (18), 0-3 Victoria Svensson (30), 0-4 Laura Kalmari (44)    
Attendance: 872
A worse than usual Mallbacken vas completely run over in the first half by a speedy and triggerhappy Djurgården with Elin Ekblom particulary good, setting up both Kalmari and Victoria Svensson as well as scoring herself - directly in goal with a corner-kick. Mallbacken's coach Mikael Fahlén managed to get his team together in half-time - he admitted that in the first half he was more nervous when his own team had the ball - and they stood up better in the second. Their new forward Kristie Swaving had huge problems against Djurgården's strong defense and didn't get to a single shot on goal.
In the second half Djurgården used the oppurtunity to let Dorte Dalum Jensen and Annemarie Norlin, both back after long time injuries, get some time on the field.
Värmlands Folkblad:
Nu får Erla börja träna skott igen
Värmlands Folkblad: Mallbacken vaknade för sent: Bedrövlig första halvlek

Jiitex - Malmö FF 0 - 2 (0-2)
Jitex: Kristin Luckenbill - Sophia Lindorsson, Emma Herbring, Amelie Rybeck, Caroline Lindblad (46 Jenny Ringquist) - Therese Björk, Malin Normelli, Leah Robinson, Stacey Stocco (75 Kajsa Tornfalk) - Therese Bjurenlind, Sara Sjöstedt (75 Linda Fyhr)
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Jenny Engwall, Therese Jönsson, Emma Wilhelmsson, Johanna Rosén - Nanna Johansen, Therese Sjögran, Nilla Fischer, Lina Nilsson (80 Anna Mörstam) - Therese Lundin, Asthildur Helgadottir
Goals: 0-1 Emma Wilhelmsson (39), 0-2 Asthildur Helgadottir (45 PK)
Attendance: 210

Jitex' new signings have definitely made a difference. In the away match against malmö they lost 1-6. Although scoreless this time, they put up a much better fight. Kristin Luckenbill did good in goal and they managed to stand up pretty good against Malmö's strong midfield. In spite of running the show most of the time, Malmö didn't create many dangerous scoring opportunities. Both their goals game from set pieces. Emma Wilhemsson was the most efficient in a box shuffle after a Malmö corner-kick and when Danish winger Nanna Johansen didn't give Jitex defense any other option than bringing her down, Asthildur Helgadottir didn't have any problems converting the penalty kick.
Göteborgsposten: Ny förlust för Jitex
Sydsvenskan: Wilhelmssons mål satte fart på MFF

Bälinge - Sunnanå 0 - 2 (0-2)
Bälinge: Maja Åström - Heidi Matinlassi, Fanta Cooper, Lina Andersson, Karolina Mats - Kacey White, Maria Thuré (46 Madelene Hagberg), Linda Sembrant, Mona Najib (46 Mikaela Björklund) - Amy Vermeulen (74 Emma Lindqvist), Minna Mustonen.
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund - Sandra Berggren, Rebecka Smith, Hanna Marklund, Kristina Wiklund - Maria Nordbrandt (91 Johanna Lindahl), Carina Holmberg (86 Alexandra Nilsson), Sanna Frostevall (81 Carolina Marklund), Anna Bodén - Madelaine Edlund, Lina Johansson.
Goals: 0-1 Madelaine Edlund (5), 0-2 Lina Johansson (27)
Attendance: 423

With important players Sitch and Smajic suspended (both red-carded against Malmö) it didn't really help Bälinge that Kacey White was back from her stint with the US national team. Sunnanå took the lead after a really nice combination only five minutes into the match and didn't let go. They filled in with a lot of players in their attacks and played aggressively in the box. When Lina Johansson scored the second a already rather pale Bälinge became even more harmless. "Sunnanå won all one-on-one situations, they played much more powerfull than we did", said Bälinge's coach Magnus Wikman.
Bälinge, that has left the latest five matches scoreless, still got a healthy 8 point distance to the relegation competition, but this could change rapidly unless they start gaining points.
Norra Västerbotten:  Smakstart bäddade för seger

Hammarby - Umeå IK 0 - 2 (0-1)
Hammarby: Katarina Wicksell - Annica Svensson, Elin Sölveskog (72 Elin Härén), Linda Forsberg, Caitlin Fisher - Louise Fors, Therese Sandström, Jennie Jonsson, Marijke Callebaut, Sara Johansson - Emma Lundh (82 Jessica Landström)
0-1 Hanna Ljungberg (25), 0-2 Hanna Ljungberg (78)
Attendance:  1,347
Umeå dominated the match completely, but Hammarby used their resources well with a defensive 4-5-1. Umeå's first goal came from one of Hammarby's few organized attacking attempts, when they were taken off guard by Umeå's pacy counter. Hammarby continued to try to give Umeå as little space as possible and managed to keep the score down, but, as Hanna Ljungberg said, it felt pretty safe for Umeå. Hammarby's youngsters Emma Lundh and Lollo Fors (both borned '89) impressed with their fearlessness. Umeå's patience payed off and gave them a new record suite of 39 Damallsvenskan matches without defeat.
Dagens Nyheter: Hanna sänkte Hammarby
Västerbottens Folkblad: UIK fortsätter att rada upp segrarna
Västerbottenskuriren: "Ljungan" fixade rekordsviten


KIF Örebro - Qbik 1 - 1 (0-0)
Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Sara Linder, Ingrid Ericson, Stina Segerström, Keeley Dowling - Marie Hammarström, Hodan Siid-Ahmed, Elin Magnusson, Emelia Erixon - Kelly Schmedes, Pavlina Scasna
0-1 Jennifer Meier (52), 1-1 Hodan Siid-Ahmed (86)
Attendance: 562

Qbik, without Anja Mittag who was playing with Germany, looked like they could go back home with their first win for the season, but once again they were punished close to the end. Neither of the teams impressed in a less than entertaining match. When Qbik took the lead from cool chip by Jennifer Meier, Örebro's Pia Sundhage made a couple of offensive changes and Qbik were pushed back for much of the remaining time. Finally Hodan Siid-Ahmed scored after a Örebro corner-kick and made it a draw. Örebro's Pavlina Scasna was the player of the match, but Qbik defender Faith Ikidi (just back from playing for Nigeria in the U20 World Championship) and debutant goalie Maria Ytrakis kept her scoreless.
Qbik coach Kjell Pettersson was happy for the point, but disappointed with the result. It seems like the team gets afraid when they get the lead instead of getting confident. It's so long since they won, it's almost like they don't beleive they can.
Örebro's Schmedes had to leave the match in the first half with a knee injury, uncertain how serious.
Värmlands Folkblad: Neeej, inte nu igen!
Nerikes Allehanda: Hodan räddade KIF-poängen, pictures

Linköping FC - Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC 3 - 0 (0-0)
Linköping: Ellinor Birath - Frida Östberg, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Charlotte Rohlin, Maria Lindström - Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Petra Larsson, Caroline Seger, Maria Karlsson, Josefine Öqvist - Tiffeny Milbrett
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Marlene Sjöberg (85 Hanna Wadefalk), Frida Höglund, Sofia Dammström, Maria Nilsson - Sara Lindén, Jessica Julin, Salina Olsson, Camilla Schelin (70 Rebecca Ljungdahl) - Emmelie Farfa (75 Sofie Andersson), Lotta Schelin
Goals: 1-0 Frida Östberg (68), 2-0 Maria Aronsson (73), 3-0 Ann Westermark (84)
Attendance: 669
Linköping's substitute goalkeeper Ellinor Birath looked happy and pleased (just look here) when she was congratulated by her teammates after her shut-out. And it wasn't an easy job. Linköping was really in trouble the first part of the match and 0-0 at halftime was actually flattering. Lotta Schelin was a constant threat and Birath really had to stretch herself. Linköping had pulled back Frida Östberg to the defense to cover for Sara Larsson's absence and started with a defensive 4-5-1, but were more aggressive in the second half, which paid off. Frida Östberg scored on a direct free-kick and Göteborg lost much of their spirit. Towards the end substitutes Aronsson and Westermark both managed to run through Göteborg's defense and decide the match.
Corren: Birath höll nollan direkt

Göteborgsposten: Göteborg föll tungt i Linköping

Umeå fined SEK 50,000 for political manifestation at match

The Swedish Football Association has decided to fine Umeå IK SEK 50,000 for allowing a political manifestation at a Damallsvenskan match in violation with association rules.

The fine, which is rather high for Swedish women's football, was decided to prevent clubs from taking the risk of being fined if the sponsor money is big enough. Umeå's manager Roland Arnqvist doesn't dispute the verdict, but thinks the fine is to high. The club has not yet decided if they are going to appeal the decision.

Aftonbladet: Hårt straff mot Umeå IK
Dagens Nyheter: Umeå får böta 50.000 för valtal på innerplan

Linköping duo out of action for 6 weeks

Linköping's goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl and defender Sara Larsson, who both had to turn down their spots on the national team for the Iceland match due to injury, has now got the results from their medical examinations; they have to rest from matches and training for at least a month. Hopefully they will be able to return to the Sunnanå match on October 8.

This is of course a strike against the club's top three ambitions, and coach Per-Johan Karlsson admits they will be missed. "Losing two national team players would be a setback for any team."

LFC-duo borta i sex veckor

Sweden one step closer to World Cup

World Cup Qualification: Iceland - Sweden 0 - 4 (0-1)
Sweden: Caroline Jönsson Malmö FF - Frida Östberg Linköping FC, Hanna Marklund Sunnanå SK, Stina Segerström KIF Örebro, Sara Thunebro Djurgården/Älvsjö - Lotta Schelin Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC (72 Josefine Öqvist Linköping), Malin Moström Umeå IK (80 Anna Sjöström Umeå IK), Caroline Seger Linköping FC, Therese Sjögran Malmö FF - Hanna Ljungberg Umeå IK (Therese Lundin Malmö)), Victoria Svensson Djurgården/Älvsjö.
Goals: 0-1 Malin Moström (13 PK), 0-2 Sara Thunebro (62), 0-3 Victoria Svensson (80), 4-0 Hanna Ljungberg (86)
Sweden gained an easy victory against an uninspired Iceland. As usual recently Sweden had a much better second half than first, where the lone goal came from Victoria Svensson winning a penalty in a situation that could have been waved away by another ref. Sweden wasn't brilliant, but used the wings fine and you could see some nice combinations between midfield and forwards. A really good Ljungberg-Moström-Svensson one resultet in the third goal. Sara Thunebro (who alternates between defending and attacking in her Djurgården/Älvsjö) showed a lot of attacking spirit as an outside defender.

A fun little story claims that there was some uncertainty among the players weather an eventual tie in the group with Czech republic would be decided on goal difference or head-to-head. Caroline Jönsson claimed head-to-head, but when the players asked coach Dennerby he claimed goal difference was the tie-breaker. He didn't correct himself until the last minutes of the match. But should it really be necessary to trick the team into scoring??

Erla Arnardottir (Mallbacken) and Asthildur Helgadottir (Malmö FF) played for Iceland.

Dagens Nyheter:
VM nära efter svensk storseger

Aftonbladet: Sågade – men på väg mot VM

Svt: Sverige tog ett stort steg mot VM

Sydsvenskan: Sverige allt närmare fotbolls–VM


I don't know if there still is something unclear with internet rights for Sweden match clips, but there definitely is a problem. Hardly anything gets published. But, as a little comfort, here is a clip from the Finland-Denmark match, courtesy of the Finnish network YLE. Finland defeated Denmark 2-1, home goals by Laura Kalmari (Djurgården/Älvsjö) and Minna Mustonen (Bälinge). Sanna Valkonen (Umeå), Jessica Julin (Göteborg), Anne Mäkinen (Umeå) and Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (Linköping) also played and for Denmark Katrine Pedersen (Djurgården/Älvsjö) and Nanna Johansen (Malmö FF).

Qbik's Anja Mittag scored as Germany defeated Ireland 3-0. Pavlina Scasna (KIF Örebro) scored the opener when Czech republic defeated Belorussia 3-0. Lise Klaveness (Umeå) played the first half for Norway as they secured qualification with a 1-1 draw at Ukraine. And Bälinge's Amy Vermeulen got her first cap as she started for Canada in their 0-1 victory over France.

Ok, I didn't look hard enough. There is a 60 second clip from the Iceland match at TV4.

Umeå threatens to drop out of UEFA Women's Cup

Even if Umeå qualifies for the UEFA Women's Cup quarter-final from the group play, that is to take place in Oslo September 12-17, they might have to drop out of the tournament.

Their home arena Gammliavallen still has not passed the UEFA requirements for field turf and general manager Roland Arnqvist says that if Umeå has to play all their Women's Cup matches away from home, they simply can't afford to participate. According to the tabloid Expressen, the total loss if Umeå advances to the final next spring without having a single home game, can be about SEK 5 millions. That sounds hugely exaggerated to me - I don't think they've ever had more than SEK 2 millions gross earnings over a complete Women's Cup run. But Arnqvist says he's really worried about the financial consequenses, and I can understand that.

Arnqvist also claims that UEFA is deliberatly discriminating against northern clubs in their artificial turf regulations, since the powerfull clubs in southern and central Europe are opposed to all kinds of artificial turf.

The field turf on Gammliavallen was approved in a field test this summer, but it must also pass a laboratory test, that as yet hasn't been performed. There is no time to change the turf if it should fail that test.

The general secretary of the Swedish Football Association, Sune Hellströmmer, says he is surprised that this hasn't been resolved yet: "We had a meeting with the club and the city of Umeå already in February and made clear what they had to do". He continues "If Umeå should refuse to play the tournament, it would be a big scandal, and Umeå could be banned from UEFA competitions for several years."

"This isn't meant as a threat from us, but if we can't find the money, we can't. What are we supposed to do?", finished Roland Arnqvist.

Gräset avgörande för Umeå IK:s cupdeltagande
Expressen: Umeå hotar nobba Uefa

Fear and longing for WUSA revival

This is old news, but might have some interest for our overseas readers.

In late May a major daily, Göteborgsposten, published a couple of articles on the possible revival of the professional american women's soccer league WUSA. They refer to the work of Tonya Antonucci and the WSII (but doesn't quote her) and claims that the league is almost ready to return, opening the 2008 season. According to the paper the new league will consist of 8 or 10 clubs. 7 of the locations are according to the paper already decided and financed (San Diego, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Washington, Rochester and New York), while three more are called "probable" (Chicago, Atlanta, Gary).

Since the previous WUSA folded 2003, a lot of players that would have played in the league has turned to Europe instead and in particular to Damallsvenskan. A new professional league in USA would attract these players and probably some Swedish stars too.

"That is one way to see it", comments the president of the Swedish Football Association Lars-Åke Lagrell, "but if you love football and wants women's football to develop, this is a great step forward."
KIF Örebro's head coach Pia Sundhage and Kopparbergs/Göteborg's chairman Peter Bronsman are both positive. Sundhage is open to the prospect of returning to USA "if the season will be long enough and the league will be open to international players" and Bronsman thinks an American professional league will stimulate Damallsvenskan. "I think a lot of our players have the dream of playing professionally and we wont stop anyone". On the contrary, Bronsman says he wants to be part of a revived WUSA: "We might not have an own team there, but our ambition is at least a close cooperation with a WUSA side, including player exchange".

Umeå's manager Roland Arnqvist is a bit more subdued: "It really doesn't matter what we think. Professional leagues will be established, in Europe too. And in the long run this is a positive thing".

Damallsvenskan newcomer's Bälinge relies heavily on their American trio White, Sitch and Cooper. Club chairman Conny Sjöberg says that a new WUSA will have consequences for the club. "There is a big risk that a WUSA league will be more attractive than Damallsvenskan. And it is almost impossible for us to find domestic players that can fully replace our Americans."

Kopparbergs/Göteborg's star forward Lotta Schelin finally, says "Great! That would give a realistic goal for girls that want to be professional footballers". And would Lotta go herself? "If I got an offer, I would definitely consider it".

Göteborgsposten: Proffsligan i USA återuppstår 2008
Göteborgsposten: Kan bli ett lyft för damfotbollen
Göteborgsposten: Bronsman vill ta Göteborg till USA
Uppsala Nya Tidning: Damliga i USA påverkar Bälinge

(Yes, there is a pun of sorts in the title and, in the off chance that this would reach Andy Mead, I want to make it clear that I'm using "WUSA" as a generic name for a professional, first division women's soccer league in USA, the same way you can use "kleenex" for any soft facial tissue.)

Göteborg to discuss cooperation with US club

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC has announced that they will discuss cooperation with the US top side FC Indiana when the club's president Gary Weaver and head coach Shek Borkowski visits Sweden later this fall. Among the issues will be the possibilities for player exchange between the clubs. The american visitors will also be guests at the Göteborg-Umeå match October 7.
FC Indiana-ledare besöker svensk klubb

Earlier news on Göteborg-Indiana relations have been posted here.

Jitex signs Luckenbill

Kristin Luckenbill, who was named WUSA goalkeeper of the year a couple of years ago when she was playing for Carolina Courage and has a handfull of caps for USA, has in a surprising move been signed by relegation-fighting Jitex as a substitute for Anna Rehnlund, who was recently forced into retirement with a back injury.

Jitex coach Hans Prytz, who is satisfied with again having two goalkeepers on the roster, tells local daily Göteborgsposten that they found Luckenbill through an agent. Luckenbill should be cleared to play in time for the Malmö match next week. Jitex now has 4 foreigners on the squad, but are only allowed to put three on the match roster, but Prytz isn't worried about that: "All players are competing for a spot every week".
Målvakt på väg till Jitex

In related news, Sunnanå's young defender Linnea Gjersvold has left the club to return north to her native Luleå, where she will begin studying for a PE teaching degree.
Sunnanå: Linnea Gjersvold 20 år back, säger upp sitt kontrakt...

Umeå risk penalties for political manifestation at match

After allowing a political manifestation in the arena during the half time recess, Umeå now faces possible penalties in form of a fine or the loss of points or both.

Umeå's home match against Jitex last Sunday was sponsored by a the local trade unions. During halftime the chairwoman of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, also a leading social democrat, held a speech to the assembled crowd.

It is not uncommon that political parties sponsors sport events, but the rule made by the Football Association is rather strict; you are only allowed to show the name and logotype of the organisation, nothing else. No speeches, no other form of manifestations.

According to an official from the Swedish FA, Umeå's penalty will probably be a fine, not a reduction of points. The interesting question here is whether Umeå, sitting on an eight point cushion, wouldn't rather pay points than cash?

Västerbottens Folkblad:
LO-basens tal kan bli kostsamt för UIK
Svt: Rött kort hotar Umeå efter valtal

Umeå to play UEFA Women's Cup in Norway

When Umeå IK enters the UEFA Women's Cup at the second group stage, they will play Kolbotn IL (Norway), Legend Chernigov (Ukraine) och Espanyol Barcelona (Spain). The group will be hosted by Kolbotn, just outside Oslo. Umeå's offer to host the group was turned down, to some disappointment from the management. "This is mostly a financial issue for us", says general manager Roland Arnqvist. The difference between hosting the event and going away might be as big as SEK 500,000, he says.

There is a geographical reason for not putting the group play in Umeå - Oslo has much better communications. And the long running argument about Umeå's artificial field turf might also have played a part in the decision.

Västerbottens Folkblad:
Ingen Women’s Cup för UIK
Västerbottenskuriren: Tuff lottning för UIK i Womens cup

Umeå players replace Linköping casualties for Iceland match

Linköping players Sara Larsson and Hedvig Lindahl has due to injuries been forced to leave the national team squad for the World Cup qualifier at Iceland next weekend. Coach Thomas Dennerby has replaced them with Umeå's Maria Bergqvist and Sofia Lundgren.
Dagens Nyheter:
Lindahl och Larsson missar VM-kval mot Island Linköpingsspelare lämnar återbud

Match-day 14: Goal-fest in Umeå

Qbik - Sunnanå 1 - 3 (0-1)
Goals: 0-1 Rebecca Smith (11), 0-2 Lina Johansson (60), 0-3 Lina Johansson (62), 1-3 Jennifer  Meier (89)
Attendance: 468
Sunnanå were both tougher and quicker and never really threatened after their first goal. Qbik has considerably individual talent, like defender Jenny Hallstenson and forward  Anja Mittag, but they were having big problems playing as a team. Sunnanå took an important step away from the relegation zone, where it looks like Qbik will be fighting Jitex and Mallbacken for the last remaining spot above the line.
Värmlands Folkblad:
Qbik överkört av Sunnanå
Norra Västerbotten:  Äntligen seger för Sunnanå
Umeå IK - Jitex 6 - 3 (3-0)
Umeå:  Sofia Lundgren -  Anna Paulson, Karolina Westberg, Sanna Valkonen, Maria Bergkvist - Anne Mäkinen (46 Lisa Dahlqvist), Malin Moström, Lise Klaveness - Anna Sjöström, Hanna Ljungberg (80 Johanna Andersson), Marta (70 June Pedersen)
Jitex (starters): Agnes Danielsson - Malin Normelli, Amelie Rybeck, Emma Herbring, Caroline Lindblad - Therese Björk, Kajsa Tornfalk, Leah Robinson, Stacey Stocco - Therese Bjurenlind, Kathy Eriksson
Goals: 1-0 Marta (19), 2-0 Malin Moström (24), 3-0 Anna Sjöström (30), 3-1 Stacey Stocco (48), 4-1 Hanna Ljungberg (67), 5-1 Malin Moström (70 PK), 5-2 Kathy Eriksson (74), 6-2 Hanna Ljungberg (78), 6-3 Sara Sjöstedt (92)
Attendance: 1,987

Umeå played better than against Bälinge last week, had more movement and creativity in the attack and also scored a couple of really good-looking goals. Hanna Ljungberg's two goals and 80 minutes on the field without any feelings of injury was also good news. But coach Jeglertz still thinks his team is too complacent, especially in the defense. "When we play the big games in Women's Cup we cannot afford to give away goals like this", he said.
There never was any doubt about the victory, and Jitex hadn't expected anything else; "But we scored three goals on Umeå at their home ground. Of course we feel good", said a pleased Jitex coach. He also had reason to be pleased with his recent reinforcements, both the two goalscorers and Leah Robinson who impressed in midfield. And pleased was probably also the just-turned-17 Sara Sjöstedt, who came on as a late substitute to make her Damallsvenskan debut and scored Jitex' third with a powerfull shot from 20 meters out.
Västerbottenskuriren: Tre mål knäckte inte UIK

Västerbottens Folkblad: Nu är Ljungberg tillbaka på allvar
Göteborgsposten: Hedersamt av Jitex trots förlust

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC - Mallbacken IF 3 - 3 (1-0)
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Maria Nilsson, Sofia Dammström, Frida Höglund, Marlene Sjöberg - Camilla Schelin (72 Rebecca Ljungdahl), Frida Thydén, Sara Lindén, Emmelie Farfa - Lotta Schelin, Salina Olsson
Goals: 1-0 Lotta Schelin (32), 1-1 Kristin Ek (46), 2-1 Sara Lindén (58), 2-2 Maja Johansson (63), 2-3 Linda Ranström (86), 3-3 Lotta Schelin (89)
Attendance: 204       
Mallbacken left Göteborg with one point and mixed feelings, coming back from behind twice to take the lead only to see Lotta Schelin, still in great goal-scoring form and showing how important she is for her team, score an equaliser in the last minutes. But coach Fahlén feels they're in a positive curve and gaining points on their relegation competitors Qbik and Jitex is good.
Göteborg seemed to relax after getting the lead in the first half and were taken aback by Mallbacken's surge forward in the second. Schelin saved the team from a defeat almost as embarrasing as the one against Hammarby last week. But still, coach Pringle pointed out, they created more during the first half today than they did during the entire hammarby match.

Värmlands Folkblad: Mallbackens spel har lossnat: Vi får betalt

Göteborgsposten: Schelin räddade en poäng till Göteborg

Match-day 14: Two red cards seals the defeat for Bälinge

Djurgården/Älvsjö - Hammarby IF DFF 5 - 1 (2-0)
Djurgården: Bente Nordby - Kristin Bengtsson, Jane Törnqvist, Therese Brogårde, Sara Thunebro - Katrine Pedersen (68 Sofia Simonsson), Anna Hall, Linda Fagerström, Elin Ekblom - Laura Österberg Kalmari (85 Mimmi Nordlander-Andersson), Victoria Svensson 
Hammarby: Katarina Wicksell - Annica Svensson, Elin Sölveskog, Karolina Rinman, Josefin Christensen (77 Elin Härén) - Louise Fors, Therese Sandström, Linda Forsberg, Jennie Jonsson, Marijke Callebaut (55 Emma Lundh) - Sara Johansson (84 Jessica Landström)
Goals: 1-0 Linda Fagerström (13), 2-0 Victoria Svensson (19), 3-0 Laura Kalmari (63), 4-0 Anna Hall (70), 4-1 Linda Forsberg (72), 5-1 Therese Brogårde (79)
Attendance: 654
Djurgården/Älvsjö is a much better team than Hammarby ("They have a team full of internationals, we have one player that sometimes is invited to come along and watch from the bench", Hammarby's coach En Perlskog complained) and when Hammarby's defense makes mistakes "almost as bad as Sweden's men against Germany" (to quote the TV commentary) it can't end any other way. In particular Victoria Svensson had a good day, being an essential part of all Djurgården's goals. This was shown on TV and provided better entertainment than last week, but still not a great game.
Djurgården plattade till Hammarby

KIF Örebro - Linköpings FC 1 - 2 (0-1)
Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Caroline Näfver, Stina Segerström, Keeley Dowling, Ingrid Ericson - Lena Andersson, Marie Hammarström (78 Kelly Schmedes), Hodan Siid-Ahmed, Elin Magnusson (90+5 Marina Pettersson), Emelia Ericsson - Louise Östman
Linköping: Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Charlotte Rohlin, Maria Lindström (Sandra Landberg) - Josefine Öqvist (Petra Larsson), Caroline Seger, Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Maria Karlsson - Tiffeny Millbrett, Maria Aronsson (Ann Westermark)
Goals: 0-1 Josefine Öqvist (8), 1-1 Emelia Erixon (47), 1-2 Maria Karlsson (85)
Attendance: 502
Örebro, had to start without their key forwards Scasna (playing Word Cup qualifications for Czech republic) and Schmedes (injured?), and applied a defensive 4-5-1. Still Linköping scored already in the 8th minute after a nice play between Maria Aronsson and Josefine Öqvist. After that Linköping had problems getting through and Örebro managed to equalise from a set piece in the beginning of the second half. Linköping moved up Maria Karlsson to make it a 4-3-3 and shortly before the end it paid off when Karlsson managed to run free on her flank and score the winner.
But the victory was hard earned for Linköping. Maria Aronsson had to limp off with a contusion, Öqvist with stomach pains and, after all substitutions had been used, Sandra Landberg got a concussion and Charlotte Rohlin a bruised foot. And Hedvig Lindahl finished the match with a muscle strain, that will probably keep her from playing for a while.
Nerikes Allehanda: KIF Örebro föll mot LFC, pictures Första vinsten för Linköping borta mot KIFÖrebro
Corren: LFC-spelare måste tacka nej till landslaget

Malmö FF - Bälinge 1 - 0 (1-0)
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Johanna Rosén (46 Lina Nilsson), Emma Wilhelmsson, Therese Jönsson, Jenny Engwall - Nanna Johansen, Nilla Fischer, Therese Sjögran, Frida Nordin - Emma Stålhammar, Therese Lundin
Bälinge: Maja Åström - Karolina Mats, Fanta Cooper, Lina Andersson, Nera Smajic (77 red card) - Mikaela Björklund (58 Heidi Matinlassi), Mona Najib (68 Emma Lindqvist), Linda Sembrant, Minna Mustonen (Madelene Hagberg) - Amy Vermeulen, Julianne Sitch (78 red card).
Goals: 1-0 Therese Lundin (43)
Attendance: 464

Bälinge started strong and had after the first 30 minutes at least three really hot chances, including a shot in the woodwork, Sitch and Vermeulen creating a fairly powerfull attack. But Malmö (without Asthildur Helgadottir, away with Iceland's national team), was stronger in midfield and when they managed to get pace in their attacks, they also managed to score. In the second half Malmö had more control over the play, although they were never unchallenged. Not until Nera Smajic fouled Nanna Johansen (Malmö's player of the match) and got her second yellow, immideately followed by Julianne Sitch getting her second yellow for mouthing off to the referee. Malmö FF vann mot svårflörtat Bälinge
Sydsvenskan: Johansen imponerade i hemmadebuten

Damallsvenskan economy continues to grow

The combined 2005 turnover for the Damallsvenskan clubs was SEK 42,5 millions, a 9 % growth from 2004, says the yearly financial report from the Swedish Football Association. Ticket sales were up 11 % and incomes from sponsoring and advertising grew 16 %. The combined results of the Damallsvenskan clubs gave a SEK 0,7 million deficit.

Damallsvenskan has been growing steadily for several years now, and Umeå IK still is the by far biggest club financially. But since they hadn't qualified for UEFA Women's Cup play in 2005 their incomes took a 15 % drop and ended at SEK 8,4 millions, creating a SEK 0,4 million deficit. Biggest earners after Umeå was, somewhat surprising, newcomers Qbik and, less surprising, Malmö FF with SEK 5,7 and 5,3 millions respectively.

The average compensation for a Damallsvenskan player was SEK 25,200 - a 6 % increase from 2004.

Complete report to be found at Svensk Fotboll.

Hanna back on national team squad

National team caoch Thomas Dennerby named the squad for the World Cup qualifier at Iceland next weekend and was happy to announce that Hanna Ljungberg after her long injury period was back on the team.

The squad:
Goalkeepers: Caroline Jönsson Malmö FF, Hedvig Lindahl Linköpings FC
Defenders: Sara Larsson Linköpings FC,Hanna Marklund Sunnanå SK, Stina Segerström KIF/Örebro, Sara Thunebro Djurgården/Älvsjö, Karolina Westberg Umeå IK, Frida Östberg Linköpings FC
Midfielders: Nilla Fischer Malmö FF, Malin Moström Umeå IK, Caroline Seger Linköpings FC, Therese Sjögran Malmö FF, Anna Sjöström Umeå IK, Josefine Öqvist Linköpings FC
Forwards: Hanna Ljungberg Umeå IK, Therese Lundin Malmö FF, Lotta Schelin Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, Victoria Svensson Djurgården/Älvsjö

Bälinge's Vermeulen recieves call-up for Canada

Bälinge announced that their newly signed forward Amy Vermeulen has been called up for two Canadian friendlies against France on August 26 and 29. Vermeulen will probably not be able to play in the important game against Sunnanå on the 30th, but coach Wikman hopes to have Kacey White back from the US national team by then.

Upsala Nya Tidning:
Vermulen uttagen till landslaget

Match-day 13 - Boring Umeå wins again

Bälinge - Umeå IK 0 - 3 (0-3)
Bälinge: Maja Åström - Karolina Mats, Fanta Cooper, Lina Andersson, Nera Smajic - Mona Najib (60 Emma Lindqvist), Julianne Sitch (82 Madelene Hagberg), Linda Sembrant, Maria Thuré (65 Mikaela Björklund) - Amy Vermeulen, Minna Mustonen
Umeå: Sofia Lundgren - Anna Paulson, Karolina Westberg, Sanna Valkonen, Maria Bergkvist (81 Johanna Frisk) - Anne Mäkinen, Malin Moström, Lise Klaveness (74 Johanna Andersson) - Anna Sjöström, Hanna Ljungberg (35 Erika Karlsson), Marta
Goals: 0-1 Own goal (19), 0-2 Malin Moström (28 PK), 0-3 Marta (45 PK)
Attendance: 2,115
Umeå did what they had to do, but not more. They didn't score a single goal from the run of the play and Bälinge managed to hold their own during the second half. Umeå coach Jeglertz thought his players were a bit "to comfortable", prefering safe play on the midfield instead of challenging Bälinge's defense. Hanna Ljungberg felt her thigh injury and decided to step out after half an hour, mostly as precaution. This match was the match they picked for the Saturday afternoon football show on TV4, but I seriously believe that any other match would have provided better entertainment.

Upsala Nya Tidning:  Bälinge hade inte en chans
Västerbottens Folkblad: Umeå IK vinner på rutin

Jitex BK - Djurgården/Älvsjö 0 - 6 (0-3)

Jitex: Agnes Danielsson - Jenny Ringquist (57 Therese Andersson), Sophia Lindorsson, Emma Herbring, Caroline Lindblad - Therese Björk (80 Sofia Skog), Kajsa Tornfalk, Malin Normelli
(64 Linda Fyhr), Amelie Rybeck - Therese Bjurenlind, Kathryn Eriksson
Djurgården: Bente Nordby - Kristin Bengtsson, Jane Törnqvist, Therese Brogårde, Sara Thunebro -  Katrine Pedersen, Anna Hall (69 Sofia Simonsson), Linda Fagerström - Elin Ekblom, Laura Kalmari, Victoria Svensson
Goals: 0-1 Laura Kalmari (7), 0-2 Sara Thunebro (9), 0-3 Elin Eklom (30), 0-4 Victoria Svensson (52), 0-5 Own goal (58), 0-6 Laura Kalmari (68)
Attendance: 204
When the top team is playing like it can, this is how big the difference between top and bottom is in Damallsvenskan. Djurgården showed a great attacking play and could have scored even more. In spite of having to retrieve the ball from the net 6 times, Jitex 19 year old debutant goalkeeper Agnes Danielsson did good.


Hammarby IF - Kopparbergs/Göteborg 4 - 1 (3-1)
Hammarby: Katarina Wicksell - Annica Svensson, Elin Sölveskog, Karolina Rinman, Josefin Christensen - Louise Fors (81 Jessica Landström), Therese Sandström, Linda Forsberg, Jennie Jonsson, Marijke Callebaut (73 Emma Lundh) - Sara Johansson
Göteborg: Maria Edman - Marlene Sjöberg, Frida Höglund, Sofia Dammström, Maria Nilsson - Camilla Schelin - Rebecca Ljungdahl, Jessica Julin, Sara Lindén, Emmelie Farfa - Salina Olsson
Goals: 1-0 Sara Johansson (17), 2-0 Sara Johansson (24), 2-1 Salina Olsson (30), 3-1 Sara Johansson (41), 4-1 Sara Johansson (60)
Attendance: 204
Wise from the 4-0 trashing they recieved at Göteborg, Hammarby started with a defensive 4-1-4-1 formation, Sara Johansson as the lone striker. It took them 15 minutes to realise that Göteborg wasn't really that dangerous. Missing Johanna Almgren and Lotta Schelin is a problem for Göteborg, but that can't fully explain their dismal effort. Hammarby played with growing conficence and Sara Johansson was hot, hot, hot. All four goals had the Sara Johansson trademark - a pass from midfield, Sara runs away from her defenders and scores with a powerfull shot.

Göteborgsposten: Göteborg hade behövt skadade Schelin

Mallbackens IF - KIF Örebro 2 - 3 (1-1)
Kristin Hammarström - Ingrid Ericson, Stina Segerström, Keeley Dowling, Lena Andersson - Marie Hammarström, Hodan Siid-Ahmed, Elin Magnusson, Marina Pettersson - Kelly Schmedes, Pavlina Scasna
Goals: 0-1 Pavlina Scasna (25), 1-1 Therese Stolpe (36), 2-1 Kristie Swaving (55), 2-2 Kristin Hammarström (88), 2-3 Louise Östman (89)
Attendance: 685
In the second half it looked pretty much like Mallbacken would get the longed-for win, that would get them out of the relegation zone. But then Örebro's coach Pia Sundhage decided to throw in everything forward. At an Örebro corner-shot, keeper Kristin Hammarström joined her 10 outfield players in front of Mallbacken's goal and headed in the equaliser. And Örebro wasn't satisfied with that, but kept pushing forward and Lolla Östman decided tha game a minute later. 
Värmlands Folkblad: Här slutar det i tårar för Mallbacken...
Nerikes Allehanda: Målvakts-Kristins mål gav KIF segern 

Sunnanå SK - Malmö FF 2 - 2 (1-1)
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Johanna Rosén, Emma Wilhelmsson, Therese Jönsson, Jenny Engwall - Nanna Johansen, Nilla Fischer, Therese Sjögran, Frida Nordin - Ásthildur Helgadóttir (44 Emma Stålhammar), Therese Lundin
Goals: 1-0 Carina Holmberg (37), 1-1 Nanna Johansen (45), 1-2 Therese Lundin (57), 2-2 Magdalena Esseryd (90)      
Attendance: 431
Malmö, with important defenders Malin Levenstad and Dora Stefansdottir on the injury list, were pressed back in the first half and if not for Caroline Jönsson in goal Sunnanå would have had a comfortable lead. Back from the recess, Malmö played better with Danish international Nanna Johansen really dangerous on the right flank, controled the match and seemed to take home 3 points. But in extra-time Sunnanå got a free-kick, that Magdalena Esseryd managed to get straight into goal. Asthildur Helgadottir recieved a black eye from the Sunnanå defense and had to leave the pitch, but will be able to play next week.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Kryss mot serietrean
Sydsvenskan: MFF Dam tappade till toppen

Norra Västerbotten:  Sunnanåpoäng i slutminut

Linköpings FC - QBIK 3 - 0  (2-0)
Linköping: Hedvig Lindahl - Marie-Louise Skålberg, Sara Larsson, Charlotte Rohlin, Maria Lindström - Josefine Öqvist, Caroline Seger, Frida Östberg, Maria Karlsson (74 Petra Larsson) - Ann Westermark (17 Tiffeny Milbrett, 89 Lotta Runesson), Maria Aronsson
1-0 Charlotte Rohlin (19), 2-0 Tiffeny Milbrett (29), 3-0 Maria Aronsson (86)
Attendance: 636
Tiffeny Milbrett, who arrived from Vancouver only two days earlier, was only supposed to play a few minutes towards the end of the match, but Ann Westermark felt an old thigh injury and left the pitch already after 17 minutes. Milbrett showed her class from the minute she stepped on the field. Qbik were to slow and to static to be any threat to Linköping. They were missing two of their key players, defender Faith Ikidi (playing for Nigeria in the U-20 World Championships) and midfielder Maureen Mmadu (suspension), but that probably wouln't have changed the outcome.
Värmlands Folkblad: Qbik utan chans
Radiosporten: Drömmål av Milbrett när Linköping vann, Milbrett and Rohlin interviews (audio)

Corren: Drömstart för Milbrett

League restart - player movements, player injuries and slightly desperate player searches

Umeå refused to let Marta go to the U20 World Championships in Russia and play for Brasil. Not so much for the sake of the team, but they want Marta fit all the way through the UEFA matches in November and didn't want to risk the heavy championship schedule. The loan agreements for the younger players with local 1st division clubs (Umeå Södra and Själevad) seems to work fine. And some of the youngsters has been pretty active in the first team, notably Lisa Dahlqvist and Johanna Frisk. And to the relief of many fans, Karolina Westberg is now unlike last year an undisputed starter - she's played 90 minutes of every Damallsvenskan match so far.

Djurgården/Älvsjö has had Danish international Dorte Dalum Jensen injured since before the season, but it looks like she's approaching a come-back. Anne-Marie Norlin is also coming back from a rather long injury period. And Laura Kalmari got married.

Two Malmö FF players, defenders Dora Stefansdottir and Malin Levenstad, suffered sever injuries during the summer, broken arm (the bicycle kick can be a dangerous move) and broken leg (U19 European Championships can be dangerous too). These two girls (20 and 17 years old) has been starters the entire season, sort of replacing Denise Reddy and Malin Andersson and will be missed. On the other hand, Asthildur Helgadottir's long distance commuting from Iceland will continue the entire season, thanks to an understanding employer and a few companies willing to sponsor. And Asta's convincing her icelandic club Breidablikk that she really needs to play on a higher level than the Icelandic league. They have also signed the Danish talented winger Nanna Johansen, who has 20 matches with the Danish national team in spite of being only 19. Initially this is a short term deal over only July and August, sort of a very long try-out.

Tiffeny Milbrett is coming back to Damallsvenskan. As soon as her committment with Vancouver Whitecaps in the W-league is finished, she will join Linköping. She says enjoyed her stay in Sweden last year and is looking forward to play in Damallsvenskan again, this time in a club competing for a top position.

Kopparbergs/Göteborg lost national team midfielder Johanna Almgren to a knee injury in early July and she might be out for the rest of the season. Defender Sofia Palmqvist leaves the team and Sweden for college in USA. On the other hand they have managed to get the promising forward Emmelie Farfa from 1st division club Holmalund on loan for the rest of the season.

Hammarby's defender Caitlin Fisher left the club, as planned, after the first six matches to return to USA and Boston Renegades.

Czech star Pavlina Scasna joined as planned KIF Örebro July 1 and immediately made an impact.

Bälinge had to let Kacey White leave for USA national team camp during August - it was part of the initial deal that should White get called up the club would let her go. On the other hand they've managed to capture Amy Vermeulen, from Ottawa Fury that reached the final in the W-league Championships. They are hoping Vermeulen, a strong target player type, will better their dismal scoring statistics (8 in 12 matches, half of them by Kacey White).

Jitex' goalkeeper Anna Rehnlund has had back problems for a long time and has now been told by her doctor that she has to quit playing. Rehnlund has been the main reson why Jitex so far has managed to stay above the relegation line and will be severly missed. Their young forward Katya Salguero is leaving for college studies (and playing some ball, I presume) in USA. They are looking to strengthen their squad and as most lower half teams they are looking at the other side of the Atlantic. The club has signed a Kathy Ericsson, a 25 year old American who has moved to Sweden after marrying a Swedish man. I have no information on her, but if she's as good as they say, she must have made an impact on the college scene in USA. They have also signed two Ottawa Fury midfielders; Leah Robinsson, who has played for Canada and Stacey Stocco, with experience from the Australian youth national teams.

Qbik's goalie Maria Busk broke her foot on training and the club is trying to find a replacement. At the moment they are looking at Maria Yatrakis, Greek national team player, recently at University of Connecticut and Long Island Lady Riders in the W-league. They've signed a short term contract with her as a long try-out. Germany's national team forward Anja Mittag joined the team July 1.

Mallbacken, in what local press describes as their search for a new Lindsay Greco (last year's successfull summer signing), has signed forward Kristi Swaving, with lots of goals and awards playing for Michigan Hawks (successfull W-league club) and Oakland university. They've also had Elizabeth Dauble (Villanova university) trying out for the team, but she wasn't quite what they' were looking for.

Previously on Damallsvenskan

Umeå is heading for the championship, undefeated with only the home draw against Göteborg to spoil a spotless record, but most of us predicted that way before the season started anyway. But in June they actually started scoring too, much to the relief of coach Jeglertz, who had confessed that those single goal wins made him really nervous. I can sympathise with that by the way - when Sweden is playing I'm never comfortable with anything less than a 3-0 advantage. Hanna Ljungberg returned from her long post Algarve rehab only to recieve thigh muscle injury that forced her back to take a break after only a few games.

Djurgården and Malmö, completely unnecessary, lost points aginst teams like Qbik and Mallbacken to let Umeå run away in the top and let Linköping get within striking distance in the competition for the second place. Göteborg had a dismal start and I was beginning to doubt if the team's love affair with coach Pringle would hold much longer, but they managed to shape up, drawing against Malmö and Umeå. And then they started to win, much thanks to Lotta Schelin, reaching some kind of personal best in June, scaring and scoring on all defenses and pulling her team with her.

The 2nd place is actually really interesting this season. If Umeå wins the UEFA Women's Cup final in May next year, and I don't hold that as completely unlikely, the Swedish league # 2 will get a spot in the 2007/08 UEFA Women's Cup.

Further down the ladder, you find the teams that were most likely to be there. KIF Örebro and Hammarby very much midtable, while Bälinge after their great start (undefeated until they played Malmö in round 7) took a couple of blows. Still they are a big success as promoted teams come, much tanks to Fanta Cooper in defense and Kacey White buildning their attacks.

Sunnanå has so far been a disappointment, going down to teams like Mallbacken and Bälinge and findning themselves awfully close to the relegation line. Even closer to that line are, as expected, Jitex, Mallbacken and Qbik. All of these has had a really hard time trying to score, which was expected from Jitex and Mallbacken. More surprising is that Qbik, that made huge investments in players before the season, hasn't been able to win a single match. Their 6 draws in twelve matches still keeps them in competition for a renewed contract.

The Swedish national team played a World Cup qualifier at Belorussia and after a slow first got their game working and went home with a 6-0 win. The successfull pairing of Victoria Svensson (3 goals) and Lotta Schelin on top put a lid on the recent questioning of Svensson's spot as a sure starter. Then in July they went to camp in Minnesota and lost two matches. Nobody here knows why - the only news we got was rewrites of what was published at about the USA match - but nobody seemed to care that much either.

Third time is a charm

Yeah, sorry about that. You know how it is. Or you don't. But there was a lot of work, and then I went to Germany to watch some football and after that I really needed a vacation. Not from the Germans - Germany is a nice country and the Germans are really pleasant people. No sarcasm intended. But watching football can be very draining. I spent the vacation rewatching 6 seasons of The West Wing - as non-football as it gets.

Anyways, this is the third time I've started the blog. Don't expect to much. If you do, drop me a mail:
[email protected].

And, if I drop off again and even if I don't, there are good threads about Damallsvenskan at the US based and the british