LDB Malmö signs Danish defender

It didn't take long for LDB FC Malmö to find a replacement for injured defender Malin Levenstad. Today they announced the transfer of 23 year old Danish national team defender Christina Øyangen Ørntoft. The Brøndby player, who has played every match for Denmark 2008 and just recently won the Danish championship with her club side, has signed a one and a half year long contract.
LDB's sport director Kenny Jönsson said that they have been in contact with Christina for some time, but when Malin Levenstad sustained her knee injury, they needed to speed things up. There was no transfer fee involved, since her contract with Brøndby expired. Christina Ørntoft said that she is happy to join the club and that the higher level in the Swedish league will help her develop.
Skånska Dagbladet:
LDB Malmö värvar dansk landslagsspelare
Sydsvenskan: LDB har värvat landslagsspelare
LDB FC Malmö: Ny spelare klar för LdB FC

New position for Jeglertz in Umeå?

Andrée Jeglertz, doing his fifth season as head coach for Umeå, has been offered a new contract. Former Umeå manager Roland Arnqvist, who is hired by the club as resonsible for player and staff recruitments for the 2009 season, says that the club is eager to keep him and that he might get a somewhat different role in the new club management.
With Arnqvist leaving the club, Jeglertz could take a sport director/manager position with present assistant coach Steve Galloway as the new coach. Jeglertz comments that he hasn't yet decided how he would answer such an offer. Västerbottens Folkblad:
UIK vill ha kvar Jeglertz

Damallsvenskan: Linköping and Malmö wins

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC - LDB FC Malmö 1 - 4 (1-1)
Göteborg: Jenny Olsson - Marlene Sjöberg, Jenny Hallstensson, Jane Törnqvist, Amelie Rybäck - Lias Ek (53 Linnéa Liljegärd), Ingvild Stensland, Maria Karlsson, Johanna Almgren - Sara Lindén, Lotta Schelin (69 Sofia Karlsson)
Malmö: Caroline Jönsson - Therese Jönsson, Emma Wilhelmsson, Dora Stefansdottir, Lina Nilsson - Frida Nordin (85 Emelie Ölander), Pavlina Scasna, Maria Aronsson (77 Emma Stålhammar), Therese Lundin, Therese Sjögran - Manon Melis
Goals: 1-0 Sara Lindén (4), 1-1 Therese Lundin (30), 1-2 Manon Melis (52), 1-3 Maria Aronsson (55), 1-4 Manon Melis (65)
Attendance: 493
Göteborg had a great opening, Sara Lindén being set-up by Lotta Schelin and scoring already after 3 minutes. Not an opening Malmö's goalkeeper Caroline Jönsson, finally starting for Malmö after almost a year on the injury list, would have hoped for. But after that Malmö came back, pressuring Göteborg in their own half and forcing the backline to mistakes. Therese Lundin could equalise on a set piece and in the second half the Malmö side rarely left Göteborg's half of the pitch at all.
"Carre" vann i comebacken
Göteborgsposten: Malmö för svårt för Göteborg

Umeå Södra FF - Linköping FC 0 - 3 (0-1)
Umeå Södra: Minna Meriluoto - Maria Wictorsson (68 Anna Fors), Petra Vaelma, Kristin Åberg, Anna Rehn - Victoria Forsmark, Emma Sundberg (74 Elina Sormunen), Hanna Folkesson, Patricia Hägglund - Terese Andersson (63 Vanessa Mångsén), Linda Fransson
Linköping: Hedvig Lindahl - Maja Krantz, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Maria Karlsson - Josefine Öqvist (66 Lisa Nilsson), Caroline Seger (65 Tilda Heimersson), Daniela, Petra Larsson - Kosovare Asllani, Cristiane (75 Maria Svensson)
Goals: 0-1 Maria Karlsson (34), 0-2 Caroline Seger (51), 0-3 Kosovare Asllani (58)
Attendance: 321
Umeå Södra's Linda Fransson had the first shot on goal, but after that Linköping took over, just like it should be in a match between the leaders and relegation candidates. Umeå Södra's coach Torbjörn Nordström was still pleased with his team, they didn't give up and weren't run over as in some previous matches. Linköping, that still has Larsson and Rohlin on the sick-list, subbed out key players in the second half since they wanted to save them for the Malmö match on Wednesday.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Södra bet i gräset – igen
Västerbottenskuriren: Ny förlust för Umeå Södra

Swedish Cup: Umeå advance to QF

Sundsvalls DFF - Umeå IK  0 - 4 (0-2)
Goals: 0-1 Johanna Rasmussen (18), 0-2 Madeleine Edlund (36), 0-3 Johanna Rasmussen (64), 0-4 Johanna Rasmussen (81)
Umeå defeated the 2nd tier side Sundsvall without overstraining themselves. In Marta's absence Johanna Rasmussen could play on her preferred left side, which proved fruitful. Umeå's defender Emma Berglund was sent out with a red card early in the second half, but that didn't change the match picture.
The information about the red card is a bit sketchy, but it seems like the situation involved an elbow after the play had been whistled off. Not good if that's what happened.
Sundsvalls Tidning:
Sundsvalls DFF utslagna ur Svenska Cupen
Västerbottenskuriren: Rasmussen "cupade" in ett hattrick

This match concludes the 5th round of the Swedish Cup. Next round, the quarter finals (Kopparbergs/Göteborg-LDB FC Malmö, Bälinge-Djurgården, Kif Örebro-Linköping and Sunnanå-Umeå), will be played after the Olympics.

Finnish players to Umeå's summer camp

Umeå IK's traditional summer-pro week, where they invite talented youngsters to train with the team for a week, has been the starting point for several of UIK regulars. Current players like Emelie Konradsson, Emma Berglund, Sofia Jakobsson and Emma Åberg-Zingmark all had their first contact with the club this way.
The summer camp has always focused on local players, but this time a quartet of Finnish players will participate. Sanna Vahtera, Pernilla Nordlund, Emmi Alanen and Madeleine Hamber are all playing for FC Sport in Vaasa, a club with close ties to Umeå IK.
Umeå's coach Andrée Jeglertz underlines that there will not be any signings this summer - in spite of trailing five points behind Linköping, he thinks his team is good enough - but the summer camp players might be interesting signings in the future.
Västerbottens Folkblad:
Inga nyförvärv till UIK

Damallsvenskan: Linköping stays on the road

Linköping FC - AIK 1 - 0 (0-0)
Linköping: Hedvig Lindahl - Maja Krantz, Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Maria Karlsson - Josefine Öqvist (87 Ann Westermark), Caroline Seger, Daniela, Kosovare Asslani - Jessica Landström, Cristiane (87 Petra Larsson)
AIK: Sofia Lundgren - Linda Lekander, Frida Höglund, Linda Sembrant, Sofia Simonsson - Anne Mäkinen, Jessica Julin (81 Louise Fors) - Emma Lundh, Elin Ekblom Bak, Lisa deVanna - Kathryn Gill (58 Laura Kalmari)
Goals: 1-0 Jessica Landström (80)
Attendance: 1,719
A really close first half, with an equal distribution of scoring chances, was followed by an increasing Linköping dominance in the second, which finally resulted in Jessica Landström's late winner. She recieved Daniela's ball from the left, controlled it and placed it out of reach for the otherwise impressing Sofia Lundgren in AIK's goal.
Linköping had to show up without their inner defenders Sara Larsson and Lotta Rohlin, both on the sick-list, but Finnish international midfielder Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, who has had problems breaking in to the starting eleven this season, convinced as defender.
The result means that Linköping stays five points ahead of Umeå, both having played 11 of the 22 season matches. Umeå now cannot win the league on their own, but must rely on other teams taking points from Linköping.
Landströms sköna avslut, Rantanens ruggiga revansch

Summer transfer news

Kopparbergs/Göteborg defender Elin Dahl Örn has gone on loan to 1st division side Byttorp. The 20 years old player appeared 12 times in Damallsvenskan for Göteborg the 2007 season. But she hasn't managed to hold on to her place in the team after the big defensive reinforcements Göteborg made before this season.
Byttorp förstärker på försvarssidan

Sunnanå has invited the Finnish teenage talent Tiia Tikkanen for a try-out. Tikkanen, who plays for TPS in the Finnish league, is on the Finnish U19 team and has also in spite of her age played with the U21's. Sunnanå's sport director Sören Gustafsson calls the offensive player "a future reinforcement".
Norra Västerbotten: Finsk stortalang provtränar med Sunnanå

Umeå IK has signed the replacements for manager Roland Arnqvist. Britta Åkerlund, who comes from a managerial position in a health care company and has extensive experience as a lower division player and referee, will take over the general manager duties while Lars Ekeberg will be responsible for sales, a new position.
Västerbottens Folkblad: UIK har anställt sin nya klubbdirektör

Umeå to meet Bardolino Verona in Women's Cup group

The schedule and seedings for the 2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup is set. Umeå IK is one of the seven teams that are top seeded and will not have to play the first qualification round. In the second qualification round, to be played October 9-14, Umeå is paired up with Italy's Bardolino Verona and a quarterfinal (played in the first half of November) will probably be against Arsenal or Lyon.
Women's Cup set for new season

Sweden qualifies for Euro 2009, Westberg scores first national team goals!

Ireland - Sweden 0 - 5 (0-3)
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Karolina Westberg, Stina Segerström, Sara Thunebro - Nilla Fischer - Josefine Öqvist (80 Johanna Almgren), Lisa Dahlkvist (72 Linda Forsberg), Therese Sjögran - Jessica Landström (61 Lotta Schelin), Victoria Svensson
Goals: 0-1 Karolina Westberg (24), 0-2 Victoria Svensson (33), 0-3 Josefine Öqvist (37), 0-4 Karolina Westberg (74), 0-5 Lotta Schelin (87)
Wednesday June 25, Carlisle Grounds, Bray, Wicklow.
Attendance: 1,450
From what I have been able to piece together from the Irish audio webcast a pretty comfortable win for the Swedish side. A generelly much better Swedish side - faster, stronger, better - with a somewhat disappointing Irish performance. The first half goals were considered "very, very soft" and Irish goalkeeper Emma Byrne didn't seem to have any of her better days.
A few snippets from the webcast:
"They [Sweden] are very confident, their goalkeeper is the only player in their own half now", "Victoria Svensson, the class player of the evening", "Women against girls".

The win, Sweden's sixth in as many matches, secured the first place in the qualifying group and thus a ticket to the 2009 Championship in Finland. National team coach Thomas Dennerby said that he was completely satisfied: "We have done the job and can put this behind us", which I hope means that he's happy to focus on the Olympics, not that he wants to leave walk-over for the two remaining qualifiers this fall.
Lotta Schelin made her national team come-back, subbing in at the 60 minute mark and scoring, and said she isn't worried about making it to the Olympics. Karolina Westberg, scoring her first goals ever for Sweden in her 124th match, isn't as confident. She was picked for the team only after three other defenders had to cancel: "If he wants another type of player, there's not much I can do about it", Karro commented. "I think he was pleased with me today, but it's hard to know if that is enough for a spot in the Olympic team".
Nerikes Allehanda:
Sverige klart för fotbolls-EM
Västerbottenskuriren: Karro tog Sverige till EM

Three match suspension for Marta

Marta will be suspended between June 28 and July 9, the Swedish Football Association's discipline committee decided Tuesday night. The match ban is a result of the incident in the match against LDB FC Malmö on June 11, which rendered Marta a red card.
The three matches that are affected are the Swedish Cup match at Sundsvall June 28 and the Hammarby (July 1) and Göteborg (July 9) matches in Damallsvenskan.
Svensk Fotboll: Marta avstängd i tre matcher

National team: Player replacements for the Ireland match

The Swedish national team has, as usual I'm inclined to add, been forced to make a few replacements in the squad originally announced for the upcoming Euro qualification match against Ireland on June 25. Replacing Malmö's Malin Levenstad, who suffered a serious knee injury in the match against AIK a week ago, wasn't such a big deal since she was already planned to give way for Djurgården's Sara Thunebro for the USA match on July 5.
Then both Linköping's defenders Sara Larsson and Charlotte Rohlin took ill and were forced to cancel. They will be replaced by Umeå's Karolina Westberg (not a big surprise, she was obviously in the running for the first pick) and, more surprising, Sunnanå's 22 year old Alexandra Nilsson. The uncapped Nilsson has been a steady starter for Sunnanå this season and has 8 caps for the U21/23 team.
Svensk Fotboll:
Charlotte Rohlin missar EM-kvalet

Weekend distraction

Just a couple of video interviews with foreign players, that you might find entertaining or interesting. I don't think I've posted these before and they should be enjoyable for people that don't understand Swedish, since the conversations are mostly in English. None of the clips are really new, but if you don't keep track of the video postings at SVT and TV4, you might have missed them.

Lisa de Vanna
A TV4 interview with Lisa de Vanna kicking around a ball in downtown Stockholm. The comment in Swedish from AIK team mate Elin Ekblom and AIK sport director Peter Johansson says that she brings a new dimension to the team's attack with her speed and scoring ability.

Daniela Alves
An old clip from March, when she just had moved to Linköping. For those of you who understand Portugese. She among other things comments on her stint with Göteborg 2004, which was a failure for both her and the club. But, she says, she is older and more mature now.

Mami Yamaguchi
SVT visits Mami at her flat in Umeå. They talk about her move to college in USA and the big problems she had the first year, but how her pride forbid her to drop out and return to Japan, the success she had later and how she decided to jump on the opportunity to play for Umeå.

Nadine Angerer
SVT follows Angerer in Swedish class and examines sentences like "Jag är världens bästa målvakt" (I am the best goalkeeper in the world) and "Jag är en spjuver" (I am a joker). "She is crazy", says her Djurgården and Germany team mate Ariane Hingst, "like all goalkeepers are".

Caroline Jönsson close to come-back

LDB FC Malmö's and Sweden's goalkeeper Caroline Jönsson, who has been out of action for almost a year following her ACL injury last summer, will probably make her come-back against Göteborg on June 29. She has been playing a couple of matches for Malmö's reserve side and says she is getting in good form. She admits she is still lacking in timing, but more matches will help that. National team coach Thomas Dennerby says that if she can show a form close to what she showed before her injury, she is a name for the Olympic squad.
Dagens Nyheter:
Caroline Jönsson siktar på OS-spel

Malmö's defender Malin Levenstad, who hurt her knee in the match against AIK last weekend, did not tear her ACL. There is damage to the ligament, but both she and her coach Jörgen Pettersson are relieved - "It could have been much worse". It will still take maybe three months before she is back in full training.
Sydsvenskan: Positivt besked för Levenstad

Damallsvenskan: Djurgården's revenge

Djurgården - Kristianstad  2 - 1 (2-1)
Djurgården: Nadine Angerer - Malin Engdahl, Anne-Marie Norlin, Therese Brogårde, Sara Thunebro - Linda Forsberg (84 Anna Lagerberth), Anna Hall, Ariane Hingst (70 Jennifer Meier), Rebecca Johnson (54 Mia Jalkerud) - Victoria Svensson, Linda Sällström
Kristianstad: Maria Edman - Johanna Jönsson, Kia McNeill, Ifioma Dieke, Carolin Ericsson (46 Maria Åhlund) - Pernilla Falk, Therese Björk, Sofie Persson, Johanna Rosén - Frida Pettersson (63 Elin Bjerre), Susanne Moberg
Goals: 0-1 Susanne Moberg (12), 1-1 Victoria Svensson (21), 2-1 Linda Sällström (26)
Attendance: 187
Djurgården had announced this as a revenge match after their embarrasing away loss to the newcomers in the Damallsvenskan opener in April. It couldn't have started worse, Susanne Moberg scoring on a free-kick that was redirected by a Djurgården's wall. But that was just about all Kristianstad managed to create forward. Djurgården promptly equalised and took the lead within 15 minutes and continued to dominate the rst of the match. They really should have scored more, but Kristianstad's defense, anchored by Dieke and McNeill, had another good day. Kristianstad's claim that this was their best away match so far says more about their away record than the match.
"Vi åkte inte hit för att få en hedersam förlust"
Dagens Nyheter: Två snabba mål gav Djurgården segern

Damallsvenskan: Linköping keeps winning

Once again the Swedish FA administrators had managed to schedule a match-day to the same day as a crucial game for Sweden in the European Championships. Malmö's home game against Hammarby should also have been played this evening, but for some reason the clubs decided to re-schedule it to August. I have no idea why, but it still seems like a sensible decision.
Even the local papers of the playing teams have given very sparse coverage of the Wednesday night matches. I guess most of their manpower were devoted to throwing guilt and blame in various directions after Sweden's men's unsuccessful performance.

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC - Linköpings FC 0 - 3 (0-1)

Göteborg: Jenny Olsson - Marlene Sjöberg, Jenny Hallstensson, Jane Törnqvist, Amelie Rybeck - Lisa Ek (46 Linnea Liljegärd), Ingvild Stensland, Maria Karlsson, Johanna Almgren (72 Sofia Karlsson) - Sara Lindén, Lotta Schelin (66 Emelie Farfa)
Linköping: Hedvig Lindahl - Maja Krantz, Petronella Ekroth, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Anna-Kaisa Rantanen - Josefine Öqvist, Daniela (73 Cristiane), Caroline Seger, Maria Karlsson (87 Lisa Nilsson) - Kosovare Asllani (67 Petra Larsson), Jessica Lindström
Goals: 0-1 Josefine Öqvist (4), 0-2 Jessica Landström (85), 0-3 Cristiane (91)
Attendance: 418
When you're on a roll, you don't have to be the best. Somehow you can score and win anyway. Linköping, undefeated leaders of the league, showed this against Göteborg. The home side had much more possession and created a lot more scoring opportunities than Linköping. But the guests scored when given the opportunity and Hedvig Lindahl saved everything that Göteborg didn't squander themselves. Linköping's Cristiane was left on the bench to make room for in-form teenager Kosovare Asllani, but probably won her starting place back as she set up one goal and scored one herself in the dying minutes of the match.
Lotta Schelin started and played 65 minutes, but still has some way to go before she is back in true form.
Förlust för Göteborg
Corren: Seger för LFC i Göteborg

Sunnanå SK - Umeå Södra FF 5 - 0 (3-0)
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund - Sandra Berggren, Sanna Frostevall, Alexandra Nilsson, Magdalena Esseryd - Kristina Wiklund (81 Erika Karlsson), Anna Bodén (72 Matilda Forslund), Perpetua Nkwocha, Carina Holmberg - Mirjam Marklund (68 Johanna Lindahl), Lina Johansson
Umeå Södra: Jessica Lundberg - Maria Wiktorsson, Petra Vaelma, Kristin Åberg, Anna Rehn - Patricia Hägglund, Elina Sormunen, Emma Sundberg, Anna Forss (Terese Andersson) - Jennifer Nobis (77 Victoria Forsmark), Linda Fransson (55 Vanessa Mångsén)
Goals: 1-0 Anna Bodén (31), 2-0 Perpetua Nkwocha (36), 3-0 Kristina Wiklund (42), 4-0 Johanna Lindahl (69), 5-0 Kristina Wiklund (74 PK)
Attendance: 501
Sunnanå got their revenge for the loss to Umeå Södra in the league opener in April. Perpetua Nkwocha claimed it was because it wasn't snowing this time, but Sunnanå was simply better at everything and ran down the Umeå side. With the three points from the match, Sunnanå passed Umeå Södra in the table and is now just over the relegation line.
Norra Västerbotten: Sunnanå sprang sönder Umeå Södra
Västerbottens Folkblad: Sunnanå kramade ur Umeå Södra

Kif Örebro - Bälinge IF 3 - 0 (2-0)
Örebro: Kristin Hammarström - Lena Andersson, Stina Segerström, Sanna Valkonen (73 Ingrid Ericson), Marina Pettersson - Maria Nordbrant (54 Carolina Näfver), Susanna Lehtinen, Marie Hammarström, Elin Magnusson - Leena Puranen, Hanna Pettersson (76 Marie Ståhlberg)
Bälinge: Veronica Svensson - Emma Lindqvist, Lina Andersson, Natalie Spilger - Emilia Appelqvist, Linda Blom (86 Jenny Jansson), Karolina Mats, Noelle Keselica, Julia Lyckberg - Lisa Lantz (47 Emma Jonsson), Sarah Storck (46 Katri Nokso-Koivisto)
Goals: 1-0 Maria Nordbrant (11), 2-0 Leena Puranen (29), 3-0 Hanna Pettersson (75)
Attendance: 462
A weak start from Bälinge let the hosts two goals up after only half an hour. The match evened out in the second half, where Bälinge actually created some good scoring chances, but it was still very visible which team is threatened by relegation.
Upsala Nya Tidning: Svag inledning Bälinges fall

Damallsvenskan: Convincing Umeå win over AIK

Umeå IK - AIK 3 - 0 (2-0)
Umeå: Ulla-Karin Rönnlund - Anna Paulsson, Karolina Westberg, Johanna Frisk, Frida Östberg - Maimi Yamaguchi, Emma Åberg Zingmark (66 Hanna Ljungberg), Lisa Dahlkvist (84 Lisa Dahlkvist) - Johanna Rasmussen, Madeleine Edlund (75 Sofia Jacobsson), Marta
AIK: Sofia Lundgren - Sofia Simonsson, Frida Höglund, Linda Sembrant, Linda Lekander - Elin Ekblom Bak, Jessica Julin, Anne Mäkinen, Louise Fors (75 Emelie Karlsson Wedin) - Emma Lundh (64 Laura Kalmari), Annica Sjölund (60 Elin Karlsson)
Goals: 1-0 Johanna Rasmussen (6), 2-0 Madeleine Edlund (44), 3-0 Sofia Jacobsson (91)
Attendance: 2,474
In spite of the early Umeå goal, Johanna Rasmussen converting a high cross from Anna Paulsson, it seemed like an open match in the beginning, both teams having possession and an organised offensive. But somewhere around the half hour mark Umå began to take over and dominated the rest of the match completely. 26 scoring attempts against AIK's 6 (only one in the second half) and 10-2 in corner shots shows the superiority for the home team. Marta, who served a one match suspension after her red carding against Kristianstad, was back with a vengeance. Hanna Ljungberg, who was greeted with ovations as she subbed in after 65 minutes, showed that she is getting into great shape. Coach Jeglertz rated the last 30 minutes of the match as the best the team has played this season.
Västerbotens Folkblad:
Umeå IK gjorde allting rätt
Västyerbottenskuriren: UIK körde över AIK

Belgian national team captain Femke Maes close to signing with Djurgården

Belgium's national team captain Femke Maes, who was awarded the Golden Shoe as the best player in the Dutch league 2007/08, seems to be close to signing for Djurgården. Belgian and Dutch media has it as a done deal already. In an interview with the football news-site voetbalkrant.com, Maes is looking forward to moving to Sweden and playing against Marta.
When I checked this with Djurgården's sport director Mikael Söderman, he said he has no knowledge about what Belgian media is writing. But they are talking to Maes and when and if there is an agreement, they will of course let us know about it at their website.
So let's say that all papers aren't signed yet and there might still be details to work out, but it looks very much like the 28 years old Femke Maes will play for Djurgården in July.
voetbalkrant.com: Femke Maes: "Nog steeds onwezenlijk dat ik tegen Marta ga spelen"
Tv Oost: Femke Maes verhuist naar Zweden (video)

Damallsvenskan: Easy win for Örebro at Umeå Södra

Umeå Södra FF - Kif Örebro 1 - 4 (0-1)
Umeå Södra: Jessica Lundberg - Maria Wictorsson (83 Kristin Åberg), Moa Westermark, Petra Vaelma, Ragna Lestander - Linda Fransson, Anna Rehn, Emma Sundberg (74 Elina Sormunen), Patricia Hägglund - Jennifer Nobis, Terese Andersson (66 Vanessa Mångsén)
Örebro: Kristin Hammarsröm - Lena Andersson, Marina Pettersson (69 Sara Fröjdfelt), Sanna Valkonen, Caroline Näfver (46 Maria Nordbrant) - Stina Segerström, Susanna Lehtinen, Marie Hammarström - Elin Magnusson, Hanna Pettersson (86 Marie Stålberg), Leena Puranen
Goals: 0-1 Leena Puranen (27), 0-2 Susanna Lehtinen (58), 0-3 Maria Nordbrant (74), 0-4 Hanna Pettersson (78), 1-4 Linda Fransson (85)
Attendance: 217
Following a first half, with a reasonably ambitious game from both sides, Örebro took over after the recess. After Örebro's second goal a little bit more than ten minutes into the second half, Södra became passive in defense and almost invisible in offense. Örebro has had huge problems scoring, but this match almost doubled their tally. Hard to say if the wind has changed though, since four goals against is pretty much Södra's average over 11 league matches.
Västerbottens Folkblad:
Hemvändare sänkte Södra
Västerbottenskuriren: Förlust för Umeå Södra mot Örebro
Nerikes Allehanda: KIF Örebro vann stort

Foreign players update

AIK's Lisa de Vanna and Kate Gill are as well as Sunnanå's Rebecca Smith on national team assignments in Korea, playing Peace Queen Cup. Both Australia and New Zealand recieved 1-2 defeats in their opening games, against USA and South Korea respectively. Brazil is also participating in the cup, but none of the Sweden based players (Marta, Cristiane, Daniela) are going to Korea.
All three Damallsvenskan players saw action in the first match, 90 minutes for Smith and de Vanna while Gill got 15 minutes.
NZ Soccer.
Korean lightning steals Football Ferns thunder
Football Australia: Matildas push world number one USA at Peace Cup

LDB FC Malmö's Aylin Yaren is also missing out on the recent matches, attending national team camp with Turkey.

Kristianstad's new signing Alissa Oldenkamp arrived a few days ago. Unlike their two earlier foreigners, Dieke and McNeill, the club didn't know anything about her before they negotiated her contract. They are simply trusting their American contact, Oldenkamp's college coach Nancy Goffi. Goffi's Swedish connections goes back to 2004 when she played for Stattena in Damallsvenskan as Nancy Augustyniak.
Kristianstadsbladet: "Religionen är det viktigaste i mitt liv"

Bälinge's Joanna Lohman gives a farewell interview at her club's website. She reveals that the disc herniation, that has been troubling her the entire season and finally made her decide to leave the team, probably is something she'll have to manage the rest of her life. She doesn't say as much, but it sounds a little like a career ending to me.
Bälinge: Joanna Lohman interview (in English)

And I really had forgotten this, but Belgian captain Femke Maes spent some time with Djurgården in May, training with the team in some kind of  "let's get to know each other" try-out. Maes, who plays for Willem II in the Dutch league, is an offensive midfielder and has scored three goals in her last five internationals for Belgium.
No link, since I can't remember where I found it.

EDIT: Ok with help from reader Smulan, here is the link:
Djurgården: Belgisk landslagskapten på besök

Improved finances for Damallsvenskan

A year ago, the 2006 financial report for Damallsvenskan, had some worrying points. Spending was growing much faster than revenues and a couple of clubs, among them Umeå IK, showed deficits that would put them in bankrupcy if repeated. A year later, it looks much better.
The 2007 report still shows that the combined result for all Damallsvenskan clubs is negative. But the deficit is reduced to less than half (SEK 1 million compared to SEK 2,5 millions a year ago) and nine clubs had a positive result. The entire deficit is explained by AIK. The ambitious club spend SEK 2,4 millions more on their women's team than the team managed to get in revenues. No big deal for AIK as a whole though - the club made a SEK 15 million profit from their men's team.
Incomes has grown from 48,7 millions 2006 to 53,7 last year. Money from sponsors and advertisers makes up 45 % of the total revenues and is the fastest growing source of incomes.
Player wages, the biggest cost, continues to grow but at a slower rate than last year, when they doubled. The average 2007 player wage was almost SEK 55,000 a year, a 13 % increase since the year before.
Svensk Fotboll:
Analys av damallsvenskans ekonomi 2007 (pdf)

The only club that didn't manage to fullfill the requirements to be licensed for the 2009 season was Sunnanå. They have been in trouble the last few years and their figures must be out of the red by the end of August, or they will not be allowed to play in Damallsvenskan 2009.
Sunnanå's finances has been closely knit to the successes and failures of Sunnanå Utveckling, a consultant company in the human resources. The company is fully owned by the club and profits has been funneled back to the club. Lately the company has experienced financial problems, which also effects the club. The current management says it has been great to have the company, but they needs to find a way to be less dependant on the profits from it.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Dokument: Sunnanås ekonomi

Damallsvenskan: Malmö's first loss, Bälinge ties Djurgården

This round, nominally the 11th but that is true only for half of the teams, saw the return of several key players. Göteborg's Lotta Schelin played the first half against Hammarby, Umeå's Hanna Ljungberg got a few minutes at the end of their Kristianstad match and AIK's Laura Kalmari made a stellar comeback from maternity leave (she gave birth to a girl March 8), scoring the winner for her team. Unfortunately, this round was also (I'm just presuming here, but it looked like I have good reasons for it) the end of the season for Malmö's Malin Levenstad who was stretchered off the field in great pain. Knee ligaments is my guess and from the looks of it a severe injury.
Attendance was overall pitiful, perhaps somewhat depending on the scheduling. Normal kick-off for weekend games is 4 pm. But since Sweden's men played Spain in the Euros (bummer, btw) at 6 pm, all games had earlier starts. Most of them at 1 pm with plenty of time to get to a TV set after the match, Bälinge curiously enough at 2, while the cocky Kristianstad club set kick-of for 3 pm, probably arguing that you really don't want to watch TV4's annoying pre-game show anyway, do you? Since they had Umeå guesting, they had the only match that managed to attract any kind of attendance, even if it was a bit smaller than they had for their match against Malmö.

AIK -LDB FC Malmö 2 - 1 (0-0)

AIK: Sofia Lundgren - Sofia Simonsson, Frida Höglund, Linda Sembrant, Linmda Lekander - Anne Mäkinen, Elin Ekblom Bak, Jessica Julin - Louise Fors, Annica Sjölund (63 Laura Kalmari), Emma Lundh (Emelie Karlsson Wedin)
Malmö: Stephanie Öhrström - Emelie Öhlander (87 Maria Aronsson), Malin Levenstad (75 Therese Jönsson), Emma Wilhelmsson, Lina Nilsson - Frida Nordin (70 Pavlina Scasna), Dora Stefansdottir, Nilla Fischer, Therese Lundin, Therese Sjögran - Manon Melis
Goals: 1-0 Annica Sjölund (37), 1-1 Therese Sjögran (39), 2-1 Laura Kalmari (82)
Attendance: 412
AIK, without their Australians de Vanna and Gill (on national team duty in Korea), relied on a strong midfield, a tough defense and a couple of chips over Malmö's reserve keeper Stephanie Öhrström. The match was not particulary well played, but AIK managed to destroy Malmö's midfield game with Mäkinen and Ekblom often winning over Lundin and Stefansdottir. They had more problems in the attack, with Sjölund's goal - a long shot that caught Malmö's keeper too far from the goalline - as their only real scoring opportunity in the first half. Malmö equalised almost immediately with a nice Sjögran finish from a Melis assist, but had problems creating much more. Particulary so in the second half, where AIK began to dominate. After Malin Levenstad's very unfortunate knee injury 15 minutes from end, Malmö seemed distressed and unfocused and Laura Kalmari could show that she still remembers where the goal is.
Kalmari, who had a few minutes against Djurgården in the Swedish Cup-match last Wednesday, said that she only came to the match to fill out the bench. She has only been training with the team for three weeks and hadn't planned to be ready for real matches until after the Olympics.
Kalmari gav Malmö första förlusten
Sydsvenskan: Här går knäet sönder på Malin Levenstad

Linköping - Sunnanå 3 - 1 (1-1)
Linköping: Hedvid Lindahl - Maja Krantz, Marie-Louise Skålberg, Charlotte Rohlin (32 Petra Larsson), Anna-Kaisa Rantanen - Josefine Öqvist, Caroline Seger, Daniela, Maria Karlsson - Jessica Landström (87 Lisa Nilsson), Cristiane
Sunnanå: Åsa Berglund - Sandra Berggren, Sanna Frostevall, Alexandra Nilsson, Carina Holmberg - Kristina Wiklund (76 Erika Karlsson), Anna Bodén, Josefine Johansson, Magdalena Esseryd (75 Johanna Lindahl) - Perpetua Nkwocha, Lina Johansson (81 Lisa Renberg)
Goals: 0-1 Perpetua Nkwocha (8), 1-1 Jessica Landström (17), 2-1 Kosovare Asllani (79), 3-1 Josefine Öqvist (86)
Attendance: 637
Relegation line-dancer Sunnanå almost got a valuable point witrh them from Linköping, first taking the lead and then keeping the game tied until only ten minutes remained. Linköping kept possession, but were mostly slow and too complicated in their attacks until in-form Kosovare Asllani came on after 60 minutes and shaked things up.
Linköping started without national team defender Sara Larsson, who stayed at home with a fever, and after half an hour their other Sweden defender Lotta Rohlin had to leave the field with a light concussion. Sunnanå were missing Rebecca Smith, on national team duty for New Zealand in Korea.
Corren: Knapp vinst för LFC mot Sunnanå

Hammarby -Göteborg 3 - 1 (3-0)
Hammarby: Kathrin Lehmann - Matilda Agné, Elin Sölveskog, Karin Lissel, Anna Lindblom (71 Lisa Björkvik) - madeleine Tegström, Jennie Jonsson - Andrea Comaneci (83 Hodan Siid-Ahmed), Nazanin Vasegpanah, Kristin Bengtsson - Sara Johansson
Göteborg: Sandra Bjurteg - Marlene Sjöberg, Jane Törnqvist, Jenny Hallstensson, Amelie Rybeck - Lisa Ek (74 Catrine Johansson), Ingvild Stensland, Maria Karlsson, Johanna Almgren (66 Sofia Karlsson) - Lotta Schelin (45 Linnea Liljegärd), Sara Lindén
Goals: 1-0 Sara Johansson (30), 2-0 Nazanin Vaseghpanah (32), 3-0 Sara Johansson (44), 3-1 Sara Lindén (65)
Attendance: 350
A strange match. Göteborg had most of the possession and played really good looking football in the first half. But Hammarby scored on every single one of their first half chances. Lotta Schelin played, as planned, the first 45 but it was visible that she hasn't been on the field for several months and only been in full training for less than two weeks. In the second half Göteborg also managed to create real scoring opportunities, but only Sara Lindén managed to convert, thus staying at the top of the goalscorers league.
SVT: Lotta Schelin nöjd med comebacken (video interview)
Göteborgsposten: Comeback för Schelin

Bälinge IF - Djurgården 1 - 1 (0-1)
Bälinge: Veronica Svensson - Karolina Mats, Natalie Spilger, Lina Andersson, Emma Lindqvist - Linda Blom (78 Emma Jonsson), Emilia Appleqvist, Lisa Lantz (53 Julia Lyckberg) - Sarah Storck (59 Katri Nokso-Koivisto), Noelle Keselica, Alexandra Höglund
Djurgården: Nadine Angerer - Anna Hall, Anne-Marie Norlin, Therese Brogårde, Sara Thunebro - Mia Jalkerud (46 Anna Lagerberth), Linda Forsberg, Ariane Hingst (70 Caroline Frånberg), Rebecca Johnson (62 Jennifer Meier) - Victoria Svensson, Linda Sällström
Goals: 1-0 Alexandra Höglund (39), 1-1 Linda Sällström (72)
Attendance: 187
With only three draws to show for themseklves in 9 matches, Bälinge were of course big underdogs in this match. But they were standing up well against Djurgården and in the first half even showed signs of a decent attack. Djurgården dominated of course, but Alexandra Höglund took her team to the lead after scoring on a rebound from an Emma Lindqvist free-kick. The longer the match went, the more the guests took over, but Bälinge were rather successful in pushing Djurgården's attacks to the wings, having Spilger and Andersson heading away the high crosses. Bälinge finally had to give up an equaliser, but were still satisfied with the match.
You can most probably get a more in-depth (and of course totally unbiased) report at damallsoapbox.blogspot.com.
Upsala Nya Tidning: Bälinge reste sig på nio

Kristianstad - Umeå IK 0 - 2 (0-1)

Kristianstad: Maria Edman - Johanna Jönsson, Efioma Dieke, Kia McNiel, Therese Persson - Therese Björk, Sofie Persson, Erla Arnadottir, Johanna Rosén (53 Pernilla Falk) - Susanne Moberg, Frida Pettersson (81 Elin Bjerre)
Umeå: Ulla-Karin Rönnlund - Anna Paulsson, Karolina Westberg, Emma Berglund, Frida Östberg - Emma Åberg Zingmark (58 June Pedersen), Mami Yamaguchi, Lisa Dahlkvist (84 Hanna Ljungberg) - Ramona Bachmann (72 Sofia Jakobsson), Madeleine Edlund, Johanna Rasmussen
Goals: 0-1 Madeleine Edlund (30), 0-2 Madeleine Edlund (61)
Attendance: 2,764
"I don't like to say that it was just another day at the job", said Umeå's coach Andrée Jeglertz, "but today we were just doing what we had to. Nothing more". The team seemed a bit slow and uninspired and didn't manage to challenge Kristianstad's goal as often as expected. But Maeleine Edlund was, unlike earlier in the season, faultless in front of goal and Kristianstad only managed fairly few and short attacks.
Kristianstadsbladet: Förlust för KDFF mot Umeå

Swedish Cup round 5: Anticipated results. Mostly.

Six of the eight matches in the 5 round of the Swedish Cup was played Wednesday night.

IF Team Hudik - Bälinge 2 - 5 (2-2)
Goals: 1-0 Emelie Becker (26), 1-1 Lisa Lantz (33), 2-1 Sofie Becker (39), 2-2 Alexandra Höglund (40), 2-3 Alexandra Höglund (61), 2-4 Sarah Stork (87), 2-5 Emilia Appelqvist (89)
Bälinge has problems in the premier league, but against a 2nd division side they shouldn't have much problem. 2-2 at halftime was worrying, but after some frank words in the locker-room, there were much more edge in Bälinge's attacks.
Upsala Nya Tidning:
Bälinge vidare i cupen

AIK - Djurgården 1 - 2 (1-0)
Goals: 1-0 Elin Ekblom Bak (24), 1-1 Linda Sällström (52), 1-2 Mia Jalkerud (76)
Djurgården showed up with all their first picks, while AIK still has De Vanna and Gill playing football for Australia in the far east, now the Peace Queen Cup in Korea. AIK had a good first half and looked on top of things, but Djurgården were much more aggressive after halftime and earned the win. AIK's Laura Kalmari subbed in at 84 minutes, making her comeback after maternity leave.
AIK: AIK utslagna ur Svenska cupen

Linköpings FC - Hammarby IF 3 - 1 (2-0)
Goals: 1-0 Own goal (25), 2-0 Kosovare Asllani (38), 3-0 Lisa Nilsson (60), 3-1 Malin Pålsson (77)
Linköping started with several players that are usually on the bench, goalscorers Asllani and Nilsson among them, but were still good enough to dominate against guesting Hammarby. 18 years old forward Kosovare Asllani impressed and coach Daniel Pettersson regretted that he hasn't used her more in the league matches.
Linköping FC: Nu väntar kvartsfinal i cupen
Corren: Fin insats av Asllani

Jitex BK - Kopparbergs/Göteborg 0 - 4 (0-2)
Goals: 0-1 Sara Lindén (14), 0-2 Sara Lindén (36), 0-3 Ingvild Stensland (53), 0-4 Sara Lindén (59)
A comfortable win for Göteborg over 1st division top side Jitex. The team seems to have preserved their recent good form, Lindén keeps scoring and Stensland owns the midfield.
Göteborg FC: Seger mot Jitex i omg. 5 av Svenska Cupen

Byttorps IF - KIF Örebro DFF 0 - 7 (0-5)

Goals: 0-1 Hanna Pettersson (8), 0-2 Leena Puranen (16), 0-3 Lena Andersson (39), 0-4 Hanna Pettersson (41), 0-5 Leena Puranen (45), 0-6 Hanna Pettersson (55), 0-7 Susanna Lehtinen (69)
Byttorp isn't one of the better 1st division sides, but it's still a good sign that Örebro managed to create a good score-line with a lot of goals from their forwards. And important winger Maria Nordbrant, who has been on the injury list, made her come-back on the field.
Nerikes Allehanda: KIF Örebro klart för kvartsfinal i cupen

Umeå Södra FF - Sunnanå SK 0 - 3 (0-1)
Goals: 0-1 Perpetua Nkwocha (11), 0-2 Josefin Johansson (76), 0-3 Lisa Renberg (84)
Sunnanå got their revenge for the loss the teams first encounter in Damallsvenskan's first round. Both teams used a lot of reserves and Sunnanå wore down the Umeå team, that breally couldn't defend themselves at the end of the match.
Norra Västerbotten: "Jossan" sänkte sina gamla lagkamrater

LDB FC Malmö's match against local competitor Husie was played late May and resulted in a 5-0 Malmö win, goals by Emma Stålhammar (2), Lina Nilsson, Maria Aronsson, and Therese Lundin. Umeå plays Sundsvall June 28.

Damallsvenskan: New draw for Umeå as Marta is shown off the field

LDB FC Malmö - Umeå IK 2 - 2 (0-1)
Malmö: Stephanie Öhrström - Emelie Ölander, Malin Levenstad, Emma Wilhelmsson, Lina Nilsson - Pavlina Scasna (72 Emma Stålhammar), Dora Stefansdotir, Nilla Fischer, Therese Sjögran - Maria Aronsson (63 Therese Lundin), Manon Melis
Umeå: Ulla-Karin Rönnlund - Anna Paulsson, Karolina Westberg, Johanna Frisk, Frida Östberg - Lisa Dahlqvist, Mami Yamaguchi, Emmelie Konradsson (46 Emma Åberg-Zingmark) - Marta (80 Red card), Madeleine Edlund (89 Sofia Jacobsson), Johanna Rasmussen
Goals: 0-1 Madeleine Edlund (27), 1-1 Manon Melis (52), 1-2 Marta (59), 2-2 Dora Stefansdottir (89)
Attendance: 1,630
This was Umeå's match. They won the midfield, shut off Malmö's wingers and left Malmö's target player Maria Aronsson almost isolated from the rest of her team. Malmö as a team seemed over all much less focused than in the match a year ago, when even Jeglertz gave them the moral victory, in spite of defeating them 2-1.
Malmö's attacks were few and short, while Umeå and Marta in particular tested Malmö's defense relentlessly. But Malmö's goalkeeper Stephanie Öhrström once again showed that she is not just a reserve for Caroline Jönsson and Malmö's defense made Umeå's attack work hard and mostly in vain. Madeleine Edlund tapped in the first goal on a rebound, she has an almost Pohlerish ability to be at the right place at the right time, in one of few less than stellar performances by the home defense.
There was no change in the match picture after the recess, but Manon Melis ran through Umeå's defense and equalised against the run of the play. Marta restored order with a great long shot a few minutes later and Umeå looked good for three points.
Then it happened. Malmö's defender Emma Wilhemsson and Marta tangled into each other and went down. When Marta didn't get free fast enough - and it didn't look like Wille was helping much - she kicked the Malmö defender in the stomach. Malmö's captain Nilla Fischer rushed over, pushed Marta and looked like she would like to settle the dispute without any referee interference. A behaviour that earned her a yellow. Marta, of course, got a red card. And the Malmö home crowd went all Frankfurt on her, as UIK Fans' Anders Andersson put it.
I don't think Malmö being one player up had much influence on the rest of the match - the stayed four in defense - but psychologically the incident was important. Malmö now pressed hard for an equaliser and again it was Manon Melis who made the difference, running away from both defense and goalkeeper to serve Dora Stefansdottir with a no-miss opportunity.
Umeå's assistant coach Steve Galloway was deeply disappointed: "We owned the match. We can't really play much better than this". But Malmö had the necessary luck.
Nobody questioned the red card after the match, not even Marta. She has become much better controlling her temper over the years, but this time she failed and she knew it. She and Emma Wilhelmsson shook hands and made up after the match and Wille even could see Marta's side "She can play ugly at times, but she takes a lot of beating during a match."
Dagens Nyheter:
Marta utvisad i toppmötet
Sydsvenskan: Oavgjort igen för LDB FC Malmö
Fotbollskanalen.se: Match clip

National team: New and old players for Ireland and USA

The eagerly awaited return to the national team by Victoria Svensson, Lotta Schelin and even Hanna Ljungberg was announced by national team head coach Thomas Dennerby as he disclosed the squad for the Euro qualifier against Ireland on June 25 and for the friendly against USA July 5.

Victoria Svenson has already returned from her injury spell and her scoring twice against Umeå last weekend is really all there needs to be said, commented Dennerby. Schelin hasn't returned to her club team yet, but has been looking good enough in training for Dennerby to nominate her. And he doesn't pick Hanna Ljungberg, who didn't dress for her club team in tonight's top match at Malmö, for Ireland, but wants her on the squad against USA.

He also picked two fairly fresh faces, Malmö's defender Malin Levenstad and Umeå's midfielder Lisa Dahlqvist. "They have shown a consistently high level in the league" was Dennerby's comment. They both made their national team debuts on Cyprus early this year, when Sweden fielded a "baby team" without most of the big names but still defeated England and Norway. Dennerby obviously thinks they have proven worthy bigger assignments, possibly even the Olympics. I don't think that he, at this stage, picks players for the national team, that aren't under consideration for China.

Kristin Hammarström, KIF Örebro, 820329 , 3
Hedvig Lindahl, Linköpings FC, 830429, 31

Sara Larsson, Linköpings FC, 790513, 75
Malin Levenstad, LdB FC Malmö, 880913, 1 (only the Ireland match)
Anna Paulson, Umeå IK , 840229 , 21
Charlotte Rohlin, Linköpings FC, 801202 , 9
Stina Segerström, KIF Örebro, 820617, 24
Frida Östberg, Umeå IK , 771210 , 70

Johanna Almgren, Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, 840322 , 12
Lisa Dahlkvist, Umeå IK, 870206, 2
Nilla Fischer, LdB FC Malmö, 840802, 32
Linda Forsberg, Djurgården, 850619, 4
Therese Sjögran, LdB FC Malmö, 770408, 124
Josefine Öqvist, Linköping FC, 830723, 48

Jessica Landström, Linköpings FC, 841212 , 10
Therese Lundin, LdB FC Malmö, 790303 , 57
Lotta Schelin, Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, 840226, 49
Victoria Svensson, Djurgården, 770518, 146

Additions for the USA match:
Sara Thunebro, Djurgården, 790426, 29
Caroline Seger, Linköpings FC, 850319, 42
Hanna Ljungberg, Umeå IK, 790108, 128

It's Name, Club, Date of birth (year-month-day), Number of caps if you're wondering. And Caroline Seger is on a yellow card suspension and not allowed to play against Ireland.

Svensk Fotboll:
Svensson och Schelin tillbaka mot Irland och USA

Previously on Damallsvenskan

Almost at half-time, with the 10th round played last weekend, the somewhat uneven table looks like this:

























































Kif Örebro
















Umeå Södra
























It will be as unbalanced as this for a long time - I think until mid September, when Umeå plays Malmö at home, a match from round 4. But in spite of this, the current table shows strengths and weaknesses pretty well.

The three top sides are the expected three top sides, but maybe not in the expected order.

benefits from a strong defense, with Sara Larsson/Lotta Rohlin in the centre and Hedvig Lindahl behind them, all Swedish national team players, but has so far not been able to get the really good score-lines. Brazilian signing Daniela has been immensely useful as the creative force behind the forwards. Their weakness in goal-scoring might be changing though, as Josefine Öqvist has recently been getting into great shape and being productive. The other Brazilian, Cristiane, has not been as successful as her compatriote. Not bad in any way, but not as prolific as expected with only three goals so far and being subbed out around the 60 minute mark a little bit too often. Still, defeating Umeå away is no small deed, and Josefine Öqvist last second solo performance to score the winner might be deciding for the outcome of the championship.

LDB FC Malmö
started well with six straight wins, most of them with impressing scorelines. But this was mostly against the bottomfeeders. They stumbled against Djurgården, drawing in spite of home advantage and being one player up most of the match. Their sudden lack of efficiency in front of goal continued when Örebro was able to shut them out in another draw. Malmö is still playing with reserve Stephanie Öhrström in goal, but Caroline Jönsson is looking good in training and will probably take over in goal within short. Dutch striker Manon Melis is scoring a lot and their only big new name, Czech Pavlina Scasna, is looking good in spite of not being fully recovered from her knee injury. Malmö fans that wanted the club to use their new money on a Brazilian star (the club opted to use the money to improve conditions for the players already on the team instead) are probably looking in Linköping's direction with some envy.

Third place Umeå IK has lost points in both their last two matches. To Djurgården, as all the top sides has, but more importantly also to Linköping. Coach Jeglertz has been sounding off against those of his players he doesn't think are fully committed. Defense seems to have been a sometimes weak side of the team. The club hasn't signed a top defender since Karolina Westberg and exclusively relying on developing own talents for the defense maybe isn't enough. The new signing Yamaguchi has got a lot of time on the field, in spite of having mostly defensive duties in midfield, unlike in college where she was the goal-scorer of her team. Danish winger/attacker Rasmussen has also proven her worth as has returning Frida Östberg. But I think we're more looking at an opposition that is getting better than Umeå being worse than last year.

Göteborg had a horrible start, losing four straight matches. But, as coach Torbjörn Nilsson pointed out already then, it was the presumed top four they played. Since then, they have six straight wins and actually has contact with the top four. And they are scoring goals, the 9-0 goalfest against Umeå Södra topping the list, in spite of Lotta Schelin being on the injury list since the Malmö match in April. Sara Lindén has stepped out of Schelin's shadow and is right now leading the goalscorer list with 9 goals before players like Marta and Lisa de Vanna. Göteborg also depends a lot on Norwegian midfielder Ingvild Stensland, who has made a string of stellar performances as the creative centre in Göteborg. She is also leading the assist league.

Last year AIK had a pretty accomplished, defensively strong side that couldn't score for the love of God. That almost got them relegated. This year the big-spending club has found the answer to their scoring problems. Not just Lisa de Vanna, who scored in five straight games, but also midfielders Anne Mäkinen and Elin Ekblom, who both have a lot of responsibility in the build-up of AIK's attacks. They don't seem really ready for the next step yet, but a finish just behind the three big ones?

We have seen Djurgården at sixth place before, but in those cases they recovered before the season finished. This time, maybe not. Coach Anders Johansson has repeatedly stressed that the team is in transition and he is hoping for a 4-6 place finish. It didn't start well, losing to newcomers Kristianstad and to Hammarby, but then they defeated Göteborg and has now tied all the three big ones. And with consecutive better performances. In the nil-nil against Linköping, they were reportedly out-played but saved by Nadine Angerer, in the 1-1 against Malmö (with Victoria Svensson back from injury) they packed the team in defense and relied on Linda Sällström's speed up front to gain a 1-1 while they seemed Umeå's equal in the 2-2 home draw. Angerer and Hingst has been great lately and Svensson seems to be in good form, particularly when you consider her large defensive responsibilities.

Hammarby also lost several key players and had a rough start, conceding 13 goals in the two matches against Umeå and Malmö. But then keeper Kathrin Lehmann returned from her ice-hockey playing duties and brought some stability to the team. But just some. Defeating Djurgården 3-0 has been followed by hard earned wins over Bälinge and a draw against Umeå Södra. One of the bright spots in their somewhat erratic season start has been former AIK attacker Nazanin Vaseghpanah, who finally starts to score in Damallsvenskan.

Kif Örebro seems a bit lost in nowhere. They have had good performances defeating Djurgården and holding Malmö to a draw but are capable to losing to just about anyone on the road. Defense works fine with national team goalie Kristin Hammarström and Stina Segerström and Sanna Valkonen in defense. Up front it's worse. Last year's wonder kid Emilia Erixon hurt her knee again and hasn't really been replaced by Leena Puranen.

Kristianstad started with what we thought was the upset of the year, defeating last year's runners-up Djurgården, but now we know it wasn't as big as we thought. They are still strong at home, almost shutting out Malmö in a 0-1 defeat while defeating Sunnanå and Bälinge. But they had some really disappointing performances on the road and overhauled their starting eleven after a humiliating 1-3 at home against Hammarby. They have made two good matches since with imports McNeall and Dieke in defense and are at present looking good for avoiding relegation.

Umeå Södra also had a chock opening, defeating last season's number 5 Sunnanå, but it has been harder since then. They have suffered really big defeats to Umeå (5-0) and Göteborg (9-0) and have a really hard time trying to shut out just about any team. Even Bälinge has scored against them. The team is overall fairly weak, but their American forward Jennifer Nobis can be impressive in attack, but fairly seldom gets anything to work with.

Last year's surprise team Sunnanå had high hopes for this season, but losing their two Swedish internationals, Hanna Marklund (motherhood) and Maria Nordbrant (Örebro) has hurt them and Mirjam Marklund's recent injury will not help. The last two defeats, Hammarby away and Göteborg at home, put them under the relegation line. The last three matches before the break for the Olympics against Umeå Södra, Kristianstad and Bälinge will probably decide their future.

Already before the season Bälinge talked about surviving in Damallsvenskan as their goal. Their key players went to other clubs and they were left with mostly a team of teenagers. Some of them among Sweden's most promising, but still. The survival should be secured by American reinforcements. One of these, Joanna Lohmann, was lost almost before she arrived, suffering from a back injury. But Natalie Spilger has impressed in defense with skill and determination, as has keeper Veronica Svensson. Still, with no wins and only three draws over nine matches, survival seems hard to reach.


Do you really want to know the lineups and play-by-play for all the games the last month and a half?? Seriously? Ok, then you really have to go to svenskfotboll.se, I'm in no mood trying to write all that here.

Some player news

Newcomers Kristianstads DFF has signed American player Alissa Oldenkamp, a midfielder who went to college at Arizona State. Oldenkamp will join the club at the beginning of the next transfer window, that opens July 1.

Bälinge's merited midfielder Joanna Lohman, a crucial part of their strategy to avoid relegation, has left the club. Already before she travelled to Sweden, she let the club know that she experienced signs of an old back injury. In Sweden the injury problems has continued. She hasn't been able to perform when she has played and she has been on and off the team during the spring. In late May she and the club concluded that playing professional ball wasn't the best way to deal with the injury. Bälinge is looking for a replacement, who in that case should arrive during the summer transfer window (July-August).

Not really football related, but still fun: Sweden and Djurgården star Victoria Svensson (who has impressed greatly in her appearences after coming back from injury recently) reveals in an interview at Djurgården's website that she and her partner are now happy parents to a little girl, who was borned May 30 and will be called Moa. She and her partner were, appearently very privately, married a year ago.

And while we're at it, some more gossip: the Umeå soccer moms Malin Moström, Anna Sjöström and Hanna Marklund appeared in a big interview in tabloid Expressen a few weeks ago (sorry, no link, appeared in print only). Malin and Anna, both moms to two months old girls, revealed that motherhood was carefully planned; quit football, work one year, get a baby. The work-one-year part probably prompted by the Swedish maternity leave regulations. Hanna on her side simply stated that "sometimes things just happens". Malin Moström will shortly move to Lugano in Switzerland, where husband Jesper has got a job coaching the local ice-hockey team.

And a little teaser: a Central European goalkeeper and an England forward has been the object of some interest from two of the top sides in Damallsvenskan. My sources here seems reliable, but it's too early to mention any names.

Club vs Country

The 2008 Damallsvenskan has an unprecedented number of foreign players from an unprecedented number of countries. This has brought some controversy and a league table in some disarray.
It started when FIFA decided to add a protected date, for the Brazil-Ghana play-off for the Olympics, to their international match calender late in March. Since both Umeå and Linköping has Brazilian internationals on their teams, matches had to be moved. Then AIK's two Australians was called up for the Asian Cup, played in May/June and also played on FIFA protected dates, which prompted even more moved matches.
There has been some upset discussions about this. Both FIFA and the Swedish Football association has been accused of incompetence. Umeå wanted to add a few weeks at the end of the season to get room for the moved matches, since the final matches are scheduled already in the middle of October. It would have been a good suggestion, if it had been brought up before the schedule was set. Clubs that have been measuring out the contract time meticiously for their expensive foreign players wouldn't be happy if the league final suddenly was moved two weeks ahead.
AIK's sport director Peter Johansson has taken the, in my opinion, only reasonable stand on this issue. Even if he didn't hesitate to use the possibility to move matches during de Vanna's and Gill's absence, He suggested that the league schedule should be made with consideration to UEFA matches and world tournaments only. If players are called up for other protected dates, you just have to let them go and play anyway. "Chelsea didn't reschedule any matches just because Drogba played in the African Cup".

Göteborg's head coach Torbjörn Nilsson had another take on the club vs country issue, when he accused the national team's fitness tests for Lotta Schelin's prolonged thigh muscle injury. Schelin was hurt during the tests, initiated by the Olympic Committee, just prior to Algarve Cup. Nilsson heavily questioned the idea of making maximum load tests. This kind of tests are designed to strain the muscles right up to when they burst. They are dangerous and pointless, he claimed.

Euro qualifying: 5-0-0, 23-0

5-0-0, 23-0. That's Sweden's essential statistics after five matches played in the qualifications for the 2009 Euros: 5 matches won, 23 goals scored, 0 goals conceded.  It is not, if you just look at the numbers, enough to secure first place and automatic qualification to the championships in Finland next year. But both coach and players has declared that there is no way they are going to miss it. Quite the opposite, head coach Thomas Dennerby's goal is to win all eight qulification matches without letting in any goals. With a home and away against Ireland and a home game against Romania remaining, Dennerby's goal doesn't seem unreachable at all.

With the three offensive key players - Hanna Ljungberg, Victoria Svensson and Lotta Schelin - all out of action due to injuries, one could sense some worries before the May qualification matches. But not about Hungary. No matter what team we field, we will overcome Hungary was Dennerby's pre-match comment. The match, a 6-0 pounding with goals from five different players, confirmed his opinion and the Swedish side were not kind in their assessment of the Hungarians: the played like a bad team from the Swedish 2nd tier.

Italy was a harder nut to crack. A pretty firm grip over the match, with from time to time dangerous Italian counters, enthusiastic runs from Josefine Öqvist, but really big problems creating goals and even scoring opportunities. Jessica Landström came from the bench to save Sweden seconds from the final whistle. A worrying performance if this had been Sweden's preferred line-up, but hopefully Svensson and Schelin will join in time for China. I don't dare to hope anything for Ljungberg.

Match reports? Again, check out

Hungary - Sweden 0-6 (0-4)
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Sara Larsson, Charlotte Rohlin, Sara Thunebro - Nilla Fischer - Therese Sjögran (68 Josefine Öqvist), Caroline Seger (76 Johanna Almgren), Maria Karlsson - Therese Lundin, Jessica Landström (64 Maria Aronsson).
Goals: 0-1 Maria Karlsson (12), 0-2 Sara Larsson (23), 0-3 Therese Lundin (34), 0-4 Nilla Fischer (37), 0-5 Therese Lundin (68), 0-6 Josefine Öqvist (78).
May 3, Sóstói stadium, Székesfehérvár, Hungary
Attendance: I haven't been able to find out if there was anyone at all

Sweden - Italy 1-0 (0-0)
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Sara Larsson, Stina Segerström, Sara Thunebro - Nilla Fischer - Therese Sjögran, Caroline Seger, Johanna Almgren (70 Madelaine Edlund) - Therese Lundin (61 Jessica Landström), Josefine Öqvist.
Goals: 1-0 Jessica Landström (90)
May 7, Behrn Arena, Örebro
Attendance: 7,347

UEFA Cup thoughts

Umeå IK suffered their third defeat, second consecutive, in an UEFA Women's Cup final, playing 1-1 at home and losing 3-2 in front of an almost 28,000 stong partisan crowd in Frankfurt. If you're reading this, you are probably well aquainted with the events of the home and away against FFC Frankfurt that decided the UEFA Cup. I didn't manage to see more than parts of the Umeå match, so I will just direct you to uefa.com if you feel you need match reports.

I still want to comment on a few things from the matches:  
Umeå appearently lost because they didn't really play that well and most of the critizism I've seen falls on the defense. And if Conny Pohlers scores three goals on you, you're doing something wrong. You simply don't let her stand unmarked in the middle of the penalty area. There is no excuse for it.

What I saw of Umeå's build-up, it was too predictable. Long passes to Marta/Rasmussen/Bachman on the wings, who then were supposed to take on two defenders as they turned towards goal. Wouldn't it have been a good idea to try to place the ball inside of the full-back once in a while?

Marta was good as always, making the German defense work hard and both scoring and creating goals. Yamaguchi was almost-impressing in the unfamiliar position as defensive midfielder. And both club and fans should fall on their knees and thank Frida Östberg for deciding to return to Umeå. A team can't ask for a more suited captain. And she kept her side clean as left back. And she scored.

And a couple of other observations:

There was a bit of a row at the post-match press conference in Frankfurt. Umeå's Jeglertz and Arnqvist were upset over the behaviour from the audience - they whistled at Marta constantly, from the penalty all the way to the prize ceremony. The Umeå duo wanted Frankfurt's coach Hans-Jürgen Tritschok to apologize for the crowd's behaviour, but Tritschok thought she had brought it on herself: with all that twisting and turning and gesturing and talking when she falls (and falls much too easy), she is not real world class player.

I've just started reading a book on the 100 years of the Swedish national football team and already after Sweden's first international, against Norway 1908, there were press complaints about the unsportmanlike conduct from the home fans - the whistled and taunted the Norwegian visitors. A hundred years later, Arnqvist and Jeglertz are still upset. For my part, I like the fan's reaction. It's a good sign for the sport that the UEFA Women's Cup final creates both big crowds and big feelings. And Marta should of course be proud. Only someone that is truly capable of threatening the home team gets this kind of reception.

And even more ridicoulus than Arnqvist and Jeglertz was Frankfurt's Tritschok. He really can't have watched much football in his life. And of course also Tritschok echoes semtiments from early last century in my Swedish history book. Swedish sports press never tired of talking about the theatricals from the shifty and unreliable latin players, players that couldn't stand up like real men. I can't help remembering Karolina Westberg commenting on Birgit Prinz after playing Frankfurt a few years back: "For such a big woman, she falls awfully easy".

The other big talk was about the approaching end of Umeå's and Sweden's dominance on the European scene. It started with a few farewell interviews with Umeå's manager Roland Arnqvist, now retiring from ¨the team and possibly from women's football. The big challenge for Umeå and Swedish club football isn't the new American league, it is the old European leagues. It's Arsenal and Lyon. The day more big European clubs realize what contribution to the value of their brand a successful women's side can bring, it's game over for the small Swedish (and Norwegian and Danish) clubs. Umeå's entire annual spending (less than SEK 15 millions) isn't more than clubs like Lyon and Arsenal spend on wages for another benchsitter. But this is both inevitable and good for the sport, says Arnqvist.

And there were some talk about expanding the the competition by bringing in more teams from the big leagues. Something to look forward to. May we hope already this year??

Umeå IK - FFC Frankfurt 1 -1 (1-1)
Umeå: Ulla-Karin Rönnlund - Anna Paulsson, Johanna Frisk, Karoline Westberg, Frida Östberg - Lisa Dahlqvist, Mami Yamaguchi, Ramona Bachmann (68 Emelie Konradsson) - Marta, Madeleine Edlund, Johanna Rasmussen
Goals: 1-0 Marta (1), 1-1 Conny Pohlers (5)
May 17, Gammliavallen, Umeå
Attendance: 4,128

FFC Frankfurt - Umeå IK 3 -2 (1-0)
Umeå: Ulla-Karin Rönnlund - Anna Paulsson, Johanna Frisk, Karoline Westberg, Emma Berglund (46 Ramona Bachmann) - Frida Östberg, Lisa Dahlqvist, Mami Yamaguchi  - Marta, Madeleine Edlund (68 Sofia Jakobsson), Johanna Rasmussen
Goals: 1-0 Conny Pohlers (5). 2-0 Conny Pohlers (55), 2-1 Lisa Dahlqvist (68 PK), 3-1 Petra Wimbersky (71), 3-2 Frida Östberg (83)
May 24, Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt
Attendance: 27,640

Apologies and some fun stuff

Yeah, that was a long break. I'm sorry about that. The month of May usually is like this; a lot of work and a lot of work-related travel. The blog being on hiatus didn't mean that I was completely cut off from the world. I still read, I just couldn't find the time and place to write. And once the break goes on for more than a week or two, the back-log grows and the urge to resume writing weakens.

Anyway, I found some fun stuff during my half-time break, that I thought I should share:

Maria Thuré
Former Bälinge midfielder (now Danmarks IF in the 1st division north) blogs at her hometown newspaper's website. Maria, who "listens to: my head coach, since it's hard to avoid" writes about football legs and summer dresses, about (not) dating local sports jocks and about the color combination chosen for the Dutch national team. I feel sorry for those of you who don't read Swedish, because you're missing out.

2. Jocasta
An American, temporarily placed in Uppsala and thus reluctant Bälinge fan, writes personal match reports from Damallsvenskan and other women's football matches. Funny, with a great eye for slightly odd details.

3. Women's Rivalry
The Women's Rivalry section of the Big Soccer boards gives you funny, witty and sometimes inappropriate banter on mainly Swedish and German football. Also a good source for non-transfer gossip about players.