Lotta Schelin scores 4 when Sweden destroys Norway

Sweden and Norway both takes the first step in the preparations for the European Championships in August, having training camps in Spain and a playing a friendly.

Sweden - Norway  5 - 1 (4-0)

Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl (Göteborg) - Anna Paulson (Umeå), Sara Larsson (St. Louis) [59 Linda Sembrant (AIK)], Stina Segerström (Göteborg) [59 Johanna Frisk (Los Angeles)], Emelie Ölander (AIK) [Alexandra Nilsson (Sunnanå)] - Nilla Fischer (LDB FC) - Kosovare Asllani (Linköping) [64 Linda Forsberg (LDB FC), 75 Lisa Dahlkvist (Umeå)], Caroline Seger (Linköping), Therese Sjögran (LDB FC) - Lotta Schelin (Lyon), Victoria Svensson (Djurgården) [71 Linnea Liljegärd (Göteborg)]
Goals: 1-0 Lotta Schelin (12), 2-0 Sara Larsson (17), 3-0 Lotta Schelin (24), 4-0 Lotta Schelin (32), 4-1 Ingvild Stensland (60), 5-1 Lotta Schelin (64)
Lotta Schelin, the only Swedish player who isn't pre-season but very much in the midst of her French season, showed that she hasn't lost any of her goal scoring prowess in Lyon, scoring four of Sweden's five goals. The first 30 minutes was a complete Swedish dominance. After that, the Norwegians managed to compete better and in the second half Sweden's head coach Thomas Dennerby began to make substitutions and change tactics, which slowed down Sweden's attack.
  • A report just surfaced at Svensk fotboll. Coaches Thomas Dennerby and Lillie Persson were very pleased with the play in the first half. The team played just like they had trained, playing the ball through midfield with speed, precise passes and well timed movements. Only one goal came from a set piece, a hard well placed free-kick from Therese Sjögran which Sara Larsson could push into goal. Newbies Ölander and Asllani were behind two of Schelin's goals, while Victoria Svensson set up another. Lotta Schelin created the 5-1 goal all by herself. Schelin was of course brilliant and also very pleased herself and with the team: "We played better than Norway today, particularly in the first half. I really think it was a fair result."
All Sweden's uncapped players got to play in the match. Emelie Ölander started while Alexandra Nilsson, Johanna Frisk and Linnea Liljegärd got on field in the second half. The 5-1 win is Sweden's biggest defeat of Norway since 1985.
Lotta Schelin sänkte Norge med fyra mål
Svensk Fotboll: Schelin fyramålsskytt mot Norge
  • There is now a short clip (Windows media, 13 MB) from Norwegian television with an even shorter piece from the match, two Schelin goals and Stensland's long distance rocket. Thanks, Bonnie!

The two teams also met in an unofficial 3x30 minutes training match last Thursday. Sweden rested four of the more experienced players (Schelin, Seger, Forsberg and Sjögran), who had just recently come back from minor injuries and Norway won 1-0 (goal by Kaurin) after Sweden's Nilla Fischer missed a closing time penalty.
Svensk Fotboll: Bra test mot Norge trots förlust

Chicago next for Östberg and Jönsson

Sweden veterans Frida Östberg and Caroline Jönsson has, according to Umeå newspaper Västerbottenskuriren, both agreed on one season contracts with Chicago Red Stars in the American WPS league.
According to the paper's unnamed source, none of the players has any plans for any long time commitments. The, for European standards, short WPS season fits them both well. When Frida Östberg said good bye to Umeå last fall, her main reason was that she wanted to be able to spend more time with her boyfriend in Holland and Caroline Jönsson wants an engagement, that doesn't interfere too much with her psychology studies.
Neither Frida nor Caroline wants to confirm anything, but Caroline says that she will announce her decision in a few days.
Chicago nästa för Östberg och Jönsson

Piteå IF's announcement of the signings of the three Canadian internationals Stephanie Labbé, Kaylyn Kyle and Brittany Timko yesterday was today's big sports news in the local paper. Head coach Peter Grundström said that he was very impressed by the work of the club's management to make the signings possible.
Sport director Håkan Norberg was very pleased and told that the club had looked at 25 different players before they reached the agreements. He thought that getting three players that already knows one another from youth and national teams will make the transition to the northern Swedish club easier. And, he added, it's also good that they, as Canadians, have seen snow before. When the players joins the team in March for their six months stay, there will still be snow on the ground.
The team is also used to having English speaking players with them, as they had three Americans helping them win promotion last season. The deal is sponsored by a local bank and an engineering company.
The step from the 1st division to Damallsvenskan is big and the club's budgeted spendings for 2009 is somewhere between SEK 4,5 millions and 5 millions compared to SEK 1,5 millions last year.
Piteåtidningen: De ska lyfta PIF i allsvenskan

Brazilian to Sunnanå, Canadians to Piteå

Brazil's Olympic and World Cup goalkeeper Barbara has signed a four month contract with Sunnanå SK. Barbara, still only 20 years old, captained Brazil's team in the 2006 U20 World Championships, was a backup keeper in the 2007 World Cup and started for Brazil in the four last matches in the 2008 Olympics.

Barbara's agent Fabio Gayoso says she is excited about the opportunity and wants to stay in Sweden longer than the four month contract if possible.

Barbara is hired as a replacement for Sunnanå's regular goal-keeper Åsa Berglund. Berglund had a since long planned surgery on her right shoulder today. This will keep her from playing football at least three months.

Norra Västerbotten:
Drömförvärv till Sunnanå, Åsa Berglund borta minst tre månader

Piteå IF today announced the agreements with three Canadian internationals. The deals with goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé, who was Canada's third keeper in the Olympics last year, and forward Brittany Timko, who played her first big championship for Canada already 2003, hasn't been the best kept secret. The third player is the 20 years old midfielder Kaylyn Kyle, who got her first caps for Canada a year ago in the Four Nations competition in China. Kyle replaces Candace Chapman, who was close to a deal with Piteå before she was offered a three year contract by the WPS club Boston Breakers.
The club has been cautious and made contracts that can be cancelled after three months. Sport director Håkan Norberg says that these signings completes Piteå's roster, "at least for the spring series".
SR Norrbotten:Tre landslagsspelare klara för Piteå

American goalkeeper to Kristianstad

Kristianstads DFF has succeeded in filling one of what sport director Ulf Berglund has claimed are their two remaining openings (the other one is a defender to replace Kia McNeill). Earlier today the club announced that they have made an agreement with the 22 years old American Brett Maron. She will join her new team in March, coming directly for her college studies at Fairfield University. Maron tended goal in the Icelandic league last summer, where Kristianstad's coach Elisabet Gunnarsdottir saw her play. She has also played for SoccerPlus CT, just like Kia McNeill, and it seems like Kristianstad also has been in touch with her former coach Tony DiCicco, now with Boston Breakers, during the recruitment.
Ny målvakt till KDFF

And in Piteå the newcomers will present the signings with Canadians Stephanie Labbé and Brittany Timko tomorrow Tuesday or maybe on Wednesday. Piteå's sport director Håkan Norberg still refuses to name any names, but it is pretty well known which players he is talking about. He is still waiting for an answer from the third player (which should be Candace Chapman), who has another offer (which should be Boston Breakers in the American league). He will not wait for long, however, and has alternatives if she should turn him down.
SR Norrbotten: Seger för Piteå IF - nyförvärv på väg

More newbies called up to Spain camp

Two defenders, Linköping's Lotta Rohlin and Hammarby's Anna Lindblom, had to notify national team head coach Thomas Dennerby that they couldn't join the team, that takes off to Spain today, Sunday. Dennerby continues on the youthful approach and has called up two uncapped players, the soon to be Los Angeles Sol player Johanna Frisk (22 years old) and AIK's 19 year old Emelie Ölander. Both have extensive experience from the younger national teams, but neither has been on the senior team before.
These changes to the team makes it 4 uncapped players on the squad and another 5, who got their first cap last season. Since it is a 23 player squad and only one match is planned, against a Norwegian side that also comes with a very youthful side, I'm not sure all the 9 youngsters will get time on the field.
Svensk fotboll:
Rohlin och Lindblom missar läger

Kristianstad, Piteå plays first friendlies

It's January, it's cold, most of the country is covered in snow, but if you have the facilities you can still play football matches. Kristianstad in the snow-free far south baptised the city's brand new artificial turf ground and Piteå in the snow-covered far north took advantage of the full size indoor arena in nearby Luleå.

Kristianstad - Ovesholm 7 - 0 (4-0)
Goals: 1-0 Susanne Moberg (19), 2-0 Frida Pettersson (39), 3-0 Sofie Andersson (44), 4-0 Susanne Moberg (46), 5-0 Gudny Odinsdottir (86 PK), 6-0 Emma Sjödahl (90), 7-0 Pernilla Falk (90)
Kristianstad invited the local 3rd division side Ovesholm and won comfortably. The new coach Elisabet Gunnarsdottir is still evaluating players. New signings Sofie Andersson from Göteborg and Icelandic Holmfridur Odinsdóttir on the wings impressed most. 19 year old Dafina Memedov, who was really close to sign with newcomers Stattena, also played her first game for her new club.
Nyförvärv fick visa upp sig

Piteå - Mariehem 1 - 0
Goals: Johanna Lindahl
Piteå played their first training match for the season against 1st division side Mariehem from Umeå. In spite of a goalwise narrow win, Piteå dominated thoroughly. The lone goal was scored by former Sunnanå player Johanna Lindahl, signed just days ago.
Damfotboll.com: Piteå IF vann nykomlingsmötet

Renata Costa Malmö's most expensive contract ever

Renata Costa is the most expensive signing LDB FC Malmö has ever made, said LDB's strong man Kent Widding Persson in an interview yesterday: "I think we could have got two Swedish internationals for the same amount."
He also revealed that the contract with Renata Costa is a loan deal with her Danish club OB. LDB FC takes over all the contract obligations and probably also has to pay Renata Costa an increased salary as well as a compensation to OB. No figures are mentioned, but if it is somewhere around the cost for "two Swedish internationals", we should be talking about somewhere around SEK 600,000 to 800,000.
Unlike what LDB FC Malmö usually does, they only have Renata Costa on a one year contract. "We want to be sure that she delivers", said Widding Persson. She can leave after the season without any compensation to Malmö, "but we have to take that risk".
Ettårskontraktet blir rekorddyrt

Commentators in the local press were initially somewhat disappointed, that the much talked about star signing was the relatively unknown Renata Costa. Sydsvenskan's Anja Gatu revealed that she had allowed herself to get all dreamy about Cristiane or Birgit Prinz or even Abby Wambach, but admits that Renata Costa is a better fit in Malmö's system.
The team already has a top goalscorer, what they need is Renata Costa's strength and leadership in the midfield. Another columnist, Artur Bliding, thinks that Renata Costa is better value for money than even Marta would have been.
Sydsvenskan: Först besvikelse - men det är en klok värvning
Skånska Dagbladet: En bättre värvning än Marta

Financially troubled Umeå makes SEK 2 million budget cuts

Umeå IK, that recently has had big liquidity problems, will cut their 2009 budget from SEK 13 millions to SEK 11 millions. Marta didn't only cost a lot of money, she also brought in a lot. Without her, the club is predicting lower ticket sales and doesn't dare to count earnings from another Swedish championship win or from an UEFA Women's Cup final as budgeted incomes. The club also has to make a profit in 2009.
"We need to build up our reserves again" said general manager Britta Åkerlund. 2008 was a tough year. The club built a new house for their offices and the financial crisis didn't make it possible to get the bank loans that was planned. The club has been very short of cash lately and has out standing debts for several hundred thousands.
The biggest cuts will be in the wage budget, about 30 %. But no renegotiations of player contracts will be necessary. Marta, Frida Östberg and Johanna Frisk are gone and Hanna Ljungberg will only have a part-time contract as she has resumed her studies. Any possible new players must be fully financed with money outside the budget before any contracts can be signed.
UIK minskar spelarlöner med 30 procent

Tasha St. Louis, Rebecca Smith, Candace Chapman and other player news

Sunnanå SK today announced that they have reached an agreement with the Trinidadian forward Tasha St. Louis. St. Louis had a week long try-out for LDB FC Malmö last week, but failed to impress enough for a contract. Sunnanå's sport director Sören Gustafsson explained that Malmö's Jörgen Pettersson found St. Louis both skilled and fast, a good player. But Malmö is already stacked with internationals, so she couldn't make the team.
St. Louis will join Sunnanå in March and is contracted until the league takes the long break for the European championships in July.
Norra Västerbotten: SSK värvar från Trinidad & Tobago

New Zealand defender Rebecca Smith, who after four seasons with the club wasn't offered a new contract by Sunnanå, is on a try-out with the German Bundesliga team VfL Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg: Rebecca Smith absolviert Probetraining

Newcomers Stattena has failed to keep any of their leading goalscorers from their successful 2008 season. First Mia Westerblad (20 goals) and now Therese Petersson (18 goals) has turned down the clubs offers. Both have families and careers and wanted a compensation, that would make it possible for them to take more time off from work. "I've never played for the money, but I don't want to pay to play", argued Petersson.
Stattena's Nina Blom regrets the decision, but explains that the club simply couldn't afford to satisfy Petersson's demands.
Helsingborgs Dagblad: Ny tung förlust för Stattena

The other newcomers, Piteå IF, seems close be able to set their player roster for 2009. No less than 15 players are leaving the team, as the club are putting together a much smaller but also better qualified squad. Sport director Håkan Norberg has told that the club has completed their signings from the Swedish market.
The club is however still in negotiations with three foreign players. One of these has been given an offer from a club in the American league, and she is trying to make a decision, Norberg said. He hopes to be able to introduce his new players shortly.
No names were mentioned by Norberg, but the internationals are most probably the earlier mentioned three Canadians Brittany Timko, Candace Chapman and Stephanie Labbé. Chapman has since been drafted by the American club Boston Breakers. I really can't see Piteå winning over Boston in tug of war over a player and I'm not even sure it would be fun to watch. On the other hand, neither of their 2008 Americans, Kim Bonilla and Marisa Brown, who both were important players in Piteå's promotion winning team, got drafted in the big January WPS draft and might be available.
Piteåtidningen: Räkna med Janina i PIF - Jessica till Mariehem ...-
Norrbottenskuriren: Snart har Piteå pusslat färdigt: "Vi har satt en deadline"

LDB FC Malmö signs Renata Costa

LDB FC Malmö today introduced their latest signing, Brazilian international Renata Costa. The 22 year old has over 50 caps and 23 goals for Brazil and has been part of the team since the 2003 World Cup. She played every single minute of every game in the 2008 Olympics.
Renata Costa is usually fielded as a centre back for Brazil, but has been playing a lot in midfield for her Danish club OB. She joined the Odense club a year ago on a two year contract, but the Danish club has reportedly have had problems financing her contract and were willing to let her go. Nothing mentioned about a possible transfer fee.
Renata says her best qualities are her strength and her vision and her favourite position is as an offensive midfielder. Which, coincidentally, is where Malmö's Jörgen Pettersson wants her to play. He calls the signing "a typical Malmö recruitment", meaning that she fits the player profile they have been looking for and that they have been following her for a long time before making the jump.
Malmö has had competition for Renata Costa from the American club St. Louis Athletica, a club that according to some information could offer a higher wage than Malmö. The Brazilian still opted for Sweden: "I've always wanted to play in the Swedish league", she said and hopes to stay for a longer period.
Renata Costa is signed on a one year contract, that expires December 31. Coach Pettersson adds that this is the club's last signing before the 2009 season. And it doesn't bother him if this makes his club look like a favourite to win the championship: "I'll rather be a favourite than not".
Sydsvenskan: Costa: Jag är stark och har bra blick
SVT: Malmö värvar Renata da Costa (video)

Uncapped Liljegärd called up for Spain camp

Kopparbergs/Göteborg's 20 year old forward Linnea Liljegärd recieved her first call-up to the national team. She replaces Linköping's Jessica Landström, who turned down the invitation, citing a small injury problem.
In Lotta Schelin's abcense, Liljegärd quickly established herself as a starter for Göteborg last season, teaming up with also called-up Sara Lindén. She scored twelve goals last season and has also been successful with Sweden's U21 team.
Svensk Fotboll:
Liljegärd blir en ny bekantskap

Yolanda Odenyo suffers back injury

Reports from Oklahoma, where Yolanda Odenyo is finishing her last college obligations, tells that the Linköping player has suffered a potentially season ending back injury. Information is a bit scetchy - I don't think the Linköping people has talked to anyone but Yolanda yet - but she seems to have damaged a vertebra. Linköping's coach Magnus Wikman said yesterday evening that he is waiting for the results of a MRI scan before deciding if the club has to go shopping for a replacement.
Yolanda Odenyo has spent the last four years at OSU and signed with Linköping only six weeks ago, probably to replace Sara Larsson in the back line.
LFC-förvärv kan missa hela säsongen
Linköping: Yolanda Odenyo skadad

Malmö signs SEK 10 million sponsor deal with sports retail company

LDC FC Malmö today announced a sponsor deal with the big sports retial chain Intersport, worth somewhere around SEK 10 millions over five years.
Intersport is a big international company with around 5,000 retailers in 45 countries. The deal includes developing a line of training and match clothes, and the players will already this week look at designs and give their input. Intersport will also participate in LDB FC's South African charity project Star School.
Skånska Dagbladet:
Ny storsponsor till LDB FC

Umeå IK hires Mika Sankala

Late yesterday afternoon Umeå IK confirmed that the club has reached an agreement with former GIF Sundsvall coach Mika Sankala. "It feels go good" exclaimed Umeå's general manager Britta Åkerlund and said that they knew already when the recruitment group met him that he was a perfect match for the club.
Mika Sankala is generally credited as a great educator and leader - before he started to coach professionally he worked as a teacher and school principal - and is often used as a lecturer. Åkerlund commented that "Mika's ideas about how to play football and how to develop players fit very well with Umeå IK's ambitions".
Sankala commented from his side, that it will be "a marvellous challenge to work with the best female players in the world".
Mika Sankala ny tränare i Umeå IK
Västerbottenskuriren: Sankala ny tränare i UIK

Britta Åkerlund dismissed the claims that Sankala would be to expensive for the club. But she is determined to run a tight ship financially. This policy does however not rule out a signing of the Australian speedster Lisa De Vanna:
"That is not at all impossible. We will try to find a sponsor for her", Åkerlund answered, probably thinking of former Marta sponsors who might be interested in new star player. She also thinks that Umeå's solving their coach question will make De Vanna more at ease with the prospect of joining the club.
Lisa De Vanna claims that there is no real difference between the offers from Umeå and Washington Freedom "and I'm not demanding any ridiculous amounts of money". Other things will decide. The short WPS season, only six months, favours the American side, as De Vanna says she wants to be away from home as little as possible. On the other hand "USA feels scary. It's an new country, while I know what to expect in Sweden". The 24 year old spent last season in Damallsvenskan, playing for AIK.
Västerbotens Folkblad: Umeå IK ger inte upp De Vanna

Umeå has found a new coach (?)

The newspaper Sundsvalls Tidning reports that Mika Sankala, the men's premier division coach who has been surrounded by rumours about a move to Umeå IK, has in fact signed an agreement with Umeå.
Sankala confirms that he has settled his contract dispute with his former club GIF Sundsvall and signed for a new club, but adds: "The club I've signed for wants to release the news themselves". The announcement will probably be tomorrow, Monday.
Sankala has played at top level, representing GIF Sundsvall in the men's premier in the 1980s, and has worked as a coach for Sundsvall since 2005. He took over as head coach 2006 and was successful in promoting the team to the top division 2007. He lost his job after failing to avoid relegation in 2008.
Sundsvalls Tidning:
Mika Sankala är Umeå IK:s nye huvudtränare
  • Just in: Dagens Nyheter just published a short interview with Umeå's general manager Britta Åkerlund, where she confirms that Umeå still is interested in Sankala: "His leadership qualities can't be argued with" and adds that Umeå's coach question will be settled "very soon".
    She also adds that Umeå might run into problems trying to finance both Sankala and their main recruitement target Lisa De Vanna. And in that case, she says, a coach is the most important right now.
    Dagens Nyheter: Umeå tvingas välja - de Vanna eller Sankala

Pitea IF has announced that they finally has completed the long talked about transfers of Johanna Lindahl from Sunnanå and Maria Åhlund from Kristianstad.
Piteåtidningen: Tre klara för Piteå IF

And while we're at it: It seems like the American club Boston Breakers has announced their interest in Canadian defender Candace Chapman. Chapman was recently mentioned as one of three Canadian players close to make a deal with Piteå.
WPS: Transactions

Stattena signs Finnish coach

Stattena has finally managed to solve their coaching problem. Today it was announced that the club has hired Finnish Marianne Miettinen. Miettinen is working at Finland's Football Association where she is responsible for the training programs for coaches. As a player she was capped for Finland at youth level and played five years in Finland's premier division. The 33 year old has also coached a women's team and been responsible for the entire youth program at the Helsinki club Puistolan Urheilijat.
Being active in Finland's football means that she already has good knowledge about Damallsvenskan and also personal friends, among them AIK's new coach Patrik Jidefalk and several of the Finnish players, including Jessica Julin, who will be an important player for Stattena.
Helsingborgs Dagblad:
Finländska ny tränare i Stattena

Stattena also announced that they now have completed the paperwork for LDC FC youngster Lina Rehov's transfer to the club.
Helsingborgs Dagblad: Sjätte nyförvärvet till Stattena

No Kristianstad return for Kia McNeill

The only USA based player in Damallsvenskan last year, who got an offer to return to her team, Kristianstad's Kia McNeill, was picked by St. Louis Athletica already in the 2nd round of the WPS draft yesterday. This takes of course away what little hope Kristianstad had to get her back on the team.

Most of the other Americans, who played on Damallsvenskan teams last year, were drafted. Bälinge's Natalie Spilger went to Chicago Red Stars in the 3rd round, Umeå Södra's Jennifer Nobis and Nikki Cross went in the 5th round to Boston Breakers and St. Louis. In the 9th Kristianstad's seldom fielded Alissa Oldenkamp was drafted by FC Gold Pride and in the final and 10th round Umeå Södra's (and formerly Bälinge's) Fanta Cooper got picked by Sky Blue FC.

Kia McNeill blev draftad av St Louis
WPS: 2009 WPS draft (pdf file)

Troubled finances might stop Umeå's De Vanna quest

Umeå IK lost money the 2008 season - exactly how much is still to be determined - and general manager Britta Åkerlund says she will be very cautious and will not go into any bidding war over Australian Lisa De Vanna. "Her wage demands has been pretty high already from the beginning" Åkerlund says and points out that the economic recession has made it harder to secure the club's finances for 2009 and the club will have to make cut-backs. "We can't just presume we will be playing the UEFA Women's Cup final and build our budget on that", she adds.
Åkerlund has repeatedly stated that Lisa De Vanna is her favourite, but what if Umeå doesn't manage to sign her? "In that case, I think we're satisfied with the players we've got. At least for now". But she is not worried about the team, even if it will be missing the extra edge a Marta or De Vanna would bring. The average age in the squad is 23 years and it's better to let these players develop instead of maybe jeopardising the club's economy.
Västerbottens Folkblad:
De Vanna kan bli för dyr

The position Umeå can't afford not to fill is that of head coach. The latest name rumoured to be on Umeå's short list is Stuart Gibson, an English coach who used to play for the local club IFK Holmsund. He has been responsible for Plymouth's youth program in England and is now coaching Steinkjer FK in Norway, a 2nd division men's team.
Västerbottens Folkblad: Gibson ännu ett namn för Umeå IK

Canadians to Piteå?

Damallsvenskan newcomers Piteå is, according to local newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten, finalizing deals with the Canadian trio Brittany Timko, Candace Chapman and Stephanie Labbé. Labbé confirms on the phone from USA, where she is studying at the University of Connecticut, that she is close to sign for a Swedish team, "but I can't tell which".
Labbé, a 22 years old goalkeeper, got her first cap for Canada last year while midfielder Timko (23 years) and defender Chapman (25) are veterans compared to her. Both started for Canada in the Olympics last year and has 43 and 62 caps for Canada.
Piteå's sport director Håkan Norberg confirms that the club is looking at foreign players, but doesn't want to reveal any names before the papers are signed.
Norrländska Socialdemokraten:
Landslagstrio till Piteå

Swedish veteran Kristin Bengtsson, who turns 39 this year, has no intention to retire. The 157 times capped today announced that she has renewed her contract with Hammarby for 2009. She started 17 Damallsvenskan matches last season, often as a forward (3 goals), but her position on the field is by her club's website defined as "everywhere".
Eurosport: Fotbollsveteranen fortsätter

The in demand Australian striker Lisa De Vanna tells Umeå newspaper Folkbladet that she is one day leaning towards signing with Umeå, and the next day towards Washington.
The WPS club Washington Freedom has made her an offer and she has a telephone conference with the club and her agent planned for today. De Vanna adds that she hasn't personally seen any of the offers yet, but will meet her agent, look in to the offers and hopefully come to a decision.
Västerbottens Folkblad: De Vanna och UIK allt längre från varandra

Elin Ekblom takes a break

AIK's midfielder Elin Ekblom Bak, a key player for the team last season, has announced that she is pregnant and will not play for her club this season. AIK congratulates her and her husband and are looking forward to see the 27 years old back on the team in 2010.
Ekblom Bak gravid - missar säsongen

Sunnanå SK is working on trying to sign two foreign internationals. They are however not troubled by the new American league. Neither of the players, both in the offensive part of the team, are drafted by any WPS clubs. "But they are both national team players who have played in big championships. They are both leading players on their teams." No names mentioned though.
Sunnanå's Sören Gustafsson also mentions that the club no longer hopes to tie Sweden goalkeeper Caroline Jönsson to their team. Gustafsson believes she will go to USA, where she has an offer from the Chicago club.
Norra Västerbotten: "Det påverkar oss inte något alls"

Kistianstad players stays in Cyprus

Three Kristianstad players, Therese Björck, Vlora Bajraktaraj and Scottish international Ifeoma Dieke, decided to accept an offer to join the Cypriot club Nea Salamis when the Swedish season finished in October. It was from the beginning only planned to be for at the most a couple of months, but Björck and Bajraktaraj has now decided to stay for the entire Cyprus season and will not return to Sweden until May.
Their club says it may be a risky choice: "The Cypriot league isn't the best in the world", comments sport director Ulf Berglund. Kristianstad's new coach, Icelandic Elisabet Gunnarsdottir, has never seen them play: "We'll see if they're good enough [to make the team] when they return in May", she comments.
Gunnarsdottir is at the present trying to cut her 30 player training squad to a 24 player roster. "It's positive, the players have to be very competitive and really show what they can, since I've never seen anyone of them before".
One player, defender Carolin Ericsson, a starter in 13 Damallsvenskan matches last season, has already decided to leave. She will move to Malmö with her boyfriend and might turn up for one of the local lower division teams.
Stjärnfall i vinterkylan, Carolin Ericsson lämnar KDFF

The Kristianstad players in Cyprus seems very content with their situation. In a recent interview on their Cypriot club's website, where they are called "the foreign diamonds" and "undoubtedly the best three players on Cyprus", they all seem serious in wanting to help the club winning the national championship. They have been very well recieved and like the atmosphere and life on the Mediterranean island. Björck and Bajraktaraj are however not sure if they will return for another season while Ifeoma Dieke, who will join Chicago Red Stars in the American WPS in March, has already made plans to return once the WPS season finishes in August.
Nea Salamis: The foreign diamond female New Salamis (Google-translated)

National team selection comments

I really should have done this last night, but I was too tired. Anyways, I think a few comments to the national team squad selected by Thomas Dennerby for the January camp are appropriate:

A couple of players who played internationally in 2008 announced their retirement from the national team late last year: Hanna Ljungberg (who still plays club football for Umeå), Frida Östberg (who still might accept an offer from Chicago Red Stars in the American league) and Therese Lundin (who really, really has retired).

Coach Dennerby decided to bring only two (instead of the usual three) goalkeepers to camp. He picked Sofia Lundgren over Kristin Hammarström, who often was the premier choice for back-up keeper last year. Sofia had the best goalkeeper stats in Damallsvenskan the 2008 season. "Statistics isn't everything, but she definitely deserves a chance to show what she can", Dennerby commented. Sweden's most experienced keeper, Caroline Jönsson, is in a kind of limbo right now, studying psychology at Umeå University and training with Umeå IK, but not attached to any club.

Josefine Öqvist will have surgery some time in January to correct a groin nerve that has been bothering her for a couple of seasons. She hopes to be fit for Algarve Cup in March.

20 years old defender Malin Levenstad had a severe knee injury last summer and hasn't played a match since. Dennerby still takes the chance: "As far as I understand she is fully recovered. And when Miss Östberg made her good byes [Malin] is a good replacement".

Malin Levenstad tillbaka i landslaget
Corren: Nerv i kläm stoppar Öqvist

Sweden sends youthful team to January training camp

Sweden's national team coach Thomas Dennerby announced his team for the winter training camp in Spain, a camp that includes a friendly against Norway january 31. The roster includes only three players borned in the 1970's, while several players only has one or two caps. The young defenders Anna Lindblom, Malin Levenstad, Linda Sembrant and Alexandra Nilsson had their first call-ups last year and the offensive players Kosovare Asllani, Louise Fors and Sara Lindén made their first marks in the last qualification matches for the European championships last fall.
"There has been an important rejuvenation of the team, so it feels good to be able to keep players like Vickan [Victoria Svensson] and [Therese] Sjögran", he commented his selection.








Hedvig Lindahl

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC




Sofia Lundgren

Linköping FC







Sara Larsson

St. Louis Athletica (?)




Malin Levenstad

LDB FC Malmö




Anna Lindblom

Hammarby IF




Alexandra Nilsson

Sunnanå SK




Anna Paulsson

Umeå IK




Charlotte Rohlin

Linköping FC




Stina Segerström

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC




Linda Sembrant








Johanna Almgren

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC




Kosovare Asllani

Linköping FC




Lisa Dahlqvist

Umeå IK




Madeleine Edlund

Umeå IK




Nilla Fischer

LDB FC Malmö




Louise Fors





Linda Forsberg

LDB FC Malmö




Jessica Landström

Linköping FC




Sara Lindén

Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC




Lotta Schelin

Olympique Lyon




Caroline Seger

Linköping FC




Therese Sjögran

LDB FC Malmö




Victoria Svensson





Svensk Fotboll:
Ny chans för höstens debutanter

Marta wins third World player award, confirms move to Los Angeles

Marta won her third FIFA World Player award yesterday in Zürich and she won with what must be an unprecedented superiority. Marta was voted first with 1,002 points, more than three times as many as second place Birgit Prinz (328 points).
Marta had earlier in the day during the pre-gala interviews confirmed the information that she has agreed with the American club Los Angeles Sol on a three year contract. She will move to southern California in February.
In her acceptance speech she as usual thanked God for her talent, her mother and her family as well as team mates and friends. She also gave special thanks to Umeå "who has given me five fantastic years. I will miss my friends, my team mates - yes, the entire town". In a later interview, she didn't rule out a return to Umeå some time: "I am not closing any doors".
She also said that she is excited to join the American league and is looking forward to the challenge to help building the new league.
Västerbottens Folkblad:
Marta hyllade Umeå i tacktalet
Expressen: Marta: "Jag kan flytta tillbaka", Martas tårfyllda farväl till Umeå

The main Swedish sports news show opened with a 5 minutes long segment dedicated to Marta. The show's football expert Glenn Strömberg called Marta's award "a really easy decision". "She is a level above everyone else", he established.
Marta's coach during her five years in Umeå, Andrée Jeglertz concurred "There is really no competition". Marta leaving for USA is "a big loss, not only for Umeå but for the Swedish league". She has been the major star, the big crowd puller and when trying to persuade an international star to play in Sweden, it's always been a good selling point that Marta plays here. But, Jeglertz continues, "Damallsvenskan has built a strong brand and the league has become very good and I hope and believe it will do well even without Marta".
They show also interviewed the American league WPS' Chief Operating Officer Mary Harvey, who incedentially played in Damallsvenskan in the 1990's: "We are over-joyed. We are tremendously excited about the prospect having Marta playing in the United States". She also acknowledged "the tremendous role" Damallsvenskan has had for the development of women's football in Europe.
SVT: Marta bäst igen och flyttar nu till USA (video)

Malmö turns down trialist

LDB FC Malmö will probably not offer a contract to the West Indian trialist Tasha St. Louis. As she returned home to Trinidad this morning after a week with the club, assistant coach Martin Sjögren told press that he was impressed by her skills, but that she lacks the strength and pace needed for Damallsvenskan competition. She wouldn't have made a 16 player match squad, he said, and to earn a contract she must be able to make the starting eleven.
No decision has been made though and there will be a management meeting during the weekend. The club might be able to set her up with another team, Sjögren said.
Skånska Dagbladet:
LDB FC tvekar om västindisk stjärna

Umeå IK continues their quest to find a new coach. Mika Sankala, who coached in the men's premiership last season, still seems most likely, but the club is still working on several names. Sankala doesn't want to comment on the situation at all until his contract dispute with his former employer GIF Sundsvall is solved.
Local paper Västerbottens Folkblad reveals that Umeå's management had a meeting with the young coach Fouzi Benbouzid, just recently employed to coach in AIK's boy's youth program. But Umeå's general manager Britta Åkerlund is secretive and doesn't even want to confirm that the meeting took place.
Västerbottens Folkblad: UIK har fler namn på listan

Finally yet another Kopparbergs/Göteborg player has signed with local competitor Jitex, the young winger Emmelie Farfa. Of the ten players that didn't get renewed contracts, she is the fifth to chose Jitex.
Fotbollskanalen: Emmelie Farfa till Jitex

Umeå facing competition for Lisa De Vanna

Umeå IK started their 2009 pre season yesterday with several familiar faces missing. But even without Marta, coach Jeglertz and team captain Östberg it was the same procedure as usual. The assistant coaches Steve Galloway and Maria Bergqvist are following the plans Andrée Jeglertz made before he left for Djurgården's men's team. Midfielder Lisa Dahlqvist said that it felt really sad not to have Marta and Johanna Frisk there: "I'm fond of them both as players and persons, but it is fun for them", she said, adding that she's really been looking forward to traing with the team again.
Västerbottens Folkblad:
Livet går vidare utan stjärna – och tränare
Västerbottenskuriren: UIK tränar på som vanligt

Västerbottens Folkblad has also talked to Greg Erskine, Lisa De Vanna's agent. He confirms that Umeå IK is one of the clubs he is in negotiations with. He is expecting an offer from Washington Freedom some time next week and indicates that there are more Swedish clubs, that have shown interest.
He continues saying that he and Lisa will evaluate her situation. The first choice she has to make seems to be if she wants to stay in Sweden or take the step over to the American league. "She likes the life in Sweden, but she also understands that USA will grow bigger and bigger. The coming two years will be really important for her and we're looking forward to that".
Västerbottens Folkblad: ”Nya Marta” på väg till USA

Young players to Malmö, Piteå and Stattena

17 years old Josefine Alfsson from Falköpings KIK is negotiating with LDB FC Malmö. Umeå and Linköping has also shown interest in the Swedish U18 midfielder, but she seems at the moment focused on Malmö. She made her Damallsvenskan debut already at 16 during Falköping's short stint at the highest level.
Josefine Alfsson förhandlar med LdB FC

Newcomers Pitea has signed 17 year old Jennifer Rönnberg, an inner mid from nearby 3rd division Lira. She is not signed as a development player, but as someone who canfight her way to a starting position.
Piteå's sport director Håkan Norberg also tells that only minor details now remains before Johanna Lindahl (Sunnanå) and Maria Åhlund (Kristianstad) can sign their contracts. He adds that the club is closing in on a few foreign players, who will complete the roster.
Norrländska Socialdemokraten: Piteå värvar talang från Lira BK

And today Stattena's hometown newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad tells that the LDB FC youngster Dafina Memedov has signed with the club. They are also looking at the international market, where their former head coach Ann-Helen Grahm, now assistant coach for Scotland, hwelps them out.
Helsingborgs Dagblad: Malmö-spelare till Stattena

Umeå will not be weakened, manager says

The parting of Umeå and Marta is finally done. Umeå's general manager Britta Åkerlund is relieved: "It feels good, it has been a long and energy draining process", she comments to a local newspaper. So, in spite of losing Marta, it feels good.

Umeå has lost the main star, the coach and the team captain. But Åkerlund doesn't feel it is time to lower expectations: "We will have just as high expectations on ourselves as previously and I don't think the 2009 team will be weaker than the one we had 2008."

A player she hopes will help Umeå meet the expectations is Australian striker Lisa De Vanna. But De Vanna, who has finished her Australian W-league season, as her Perth Glory didn't make it to the play-offs, has alternatives. She has an agent who is dealing with the clubs and she will sit down and talk things over with him this week. She says to Västerbottens Folkblad that there are four Swedish clubs that are interesting to her: "I want to play for a top four club, Umeå, Linköping, Malmö or AIK". She visited Umeå just before she returned home to Australia in November and was both impressed and flattered by the attention. But since then, Umeå has lost their coach and important players, which worries De Vanna a bit.

AIK has stated that the door is open for De Vanna, should she decide to return, Linköping's Bengt Ekholm denies that the club is interested, while LDB FC Malmö's Kent Widding Persson neither confirms nor denies any interest in the Australian forward. Or in Cristiane for that matter, who according to her agent Fabiano Farah has Malmö as an option: "It might be so, that's up to Fabiano to say", commented Widding Persson and continued "I really can't comment on these two players. I have a deal that is negotiated, but the player can't sign until next week." If the negotiated deal is one of the players mentioned or another is unknown.

De Vanna is also drafted by Washington Freedom in the American league, but she says she has so far not talked to anyone from the club.

Västerbottens Folkblad:
Åkerlund: UIK blir inte svagare i år, UIK lär få fortsätta att vänta

Stattena signs Jessica Julin

Newcomer Stattena is finally starting to make those important signings of Damallsvenskan veterans, that are crucial to give them any chance to avoid immediate relegation.
Finnish midfielder Jessica Julin comes from two seasons with AIK and has previously played in both Umeå and Göteborg. The 30 years old has more than 100 caps and is right now on her way the 4 nations tournament in China with the Finnish national team. She will be a key player.
Stattena could also announce the signing of 21 year old forward Hanna Pettersson. She has two years of Damallsvenskan experience with Kif Örebro and is capped twice for Sweden's U21 team.
Stattena's Nina Blom is very happy that they've decided to play for the club. She could also reveal that the club is continuing their talks with Lina Rehov, a 20 year old defender from LDB FC Malmö's youth program. Another Malmö youth, midfielder Dafina Memedov, also seems on her way to the club. Both Rehov and Memedov has been on Malmö's roster last season, but are not likely to make the team 2009.
Helsingborgs Dagblad:
Två nyförvärv klara för Stattena
Damfotboll.com: AIK- och Örebro-spelare till Stattena

Kopparbergs/Göteborg's 2008 goalkeeper Jenny Olsson has found a new club in nearby Jitex in the 1st division.
Damfotboll.com: Jenny följer Sandra till Jitex

Jitex have signed half a team's worth of Göteborg players this winter and are looking good as the main promotion candidate. They were on the other hand the main promotion candidate last season too, but got beaten by Stattena.

Johanna Frisk accepts offer from Los Angeles Sol

Umeå's defender Johanna Frisk today revealed that she has accepted a contract offer from the WPS club Los Angeles Sol. She says they have agreed on a three year contract. Frisk has been 3 years in Umeå and has been a starting centre back since she returned from the knee injury she recieved 2007.
Johanna Frisk recieved the offer from the Sol after Marta had inquired about the possibility in her negotiations with the club. But Frisk doesn't want to comment on Marta's possible contract with the Los Angeles club: "I have decided what's best for me and I can't worry about what's best for someone else".
Whatever. Let's at least agree that Frisk's deal strengthens the theory that Marta will play for Los Angeles come March 29. If that really needs reinforcing.
Dagens Nyheter:
Johanna Frisk klar för Los Angeles Sol

The Brazilian player training with LDC FC Malmö I mentioned yesterday isn't Brazilian at all. It is the 25 years old forward Tasha St Louis from Trinidad/Tobago. She has been a national team stand-out since her first cap at 17 and has played for the successful American clubs New Jersey Wildcats and FC Indiana.
St Louis got in touch with Malmö through her agent and assistant coach Martin Sjöberg says she is worth checking out. "She looks interesting with good ball skills and a natural technique" he comments. "The big question is if she will be able to make the transition to the Swedish conditions with a much higher pace and more physical game".
Tasha St Louis will traing with the club for a week.
Skånska Dagbladet: Västindisk stjärna tränar med LDB FC

Umeå team mates: Marta leaving was expected

"It was expected", commented Marta's former team mates Karolina Westberg and Ulla-Karin Rönnlund today on Marta's likely signing with Los Angeles Sol.
"I've been prepared for her leaving to the USA the whole time", said Rönnlund. Veteran defender Karolina Westberg wasn't surprised either. Just like Rönnlund, she had the feeling that Marta would leave and she said she has known about the move "for some time".
Marta will not be easy to replace - Westberg simply claims she cannot be replaced - but other players will have to step forward and, said Westberg, "we might have relied a little bit too much on her".
Without not only Marta, but also the team's coach (Andrée Jeglertz who moves to men's top side Djurgården) and captain (Frida Östberg, who either retires or moves to Chicago Red Stars), expectations on the team maybe should be a little lower than what has been usual the last years. But, finishes Westberg, we shall not lower our goals.
Västerbottens Folkblad:
“Vi får ta ner förväntningarna lite”
Eurosport: Lagkamraten: "Det var väntat"

Possible to replace or not, Umeå will try to find someone to at least fill her place on the roster. Number one is still Australian striker Lisa De Vanna, confirms Umeå's general manager Britta Åkerlund. Åkerlund said to leading daily Dagens Nyheter that the club are in talks with De Vanna "and I feel it is going very well".
Just like her players, Åkerlund is convinced that Marta will play for Los Angeles Sol. During the entire negotiation period during the fall, Åkerlund said, it has felt like Umeå has been the back-up plan. When things seemed a bit shaky in USA with the financial crisis, Farah was much more interested to talk to Umeå. But Umeå is not interested being a back-up any longer.
Dagens Nyheter: Umeå bryter med Marta - vill ersätta med Lisa de Vanna

Åkerlund's other big task is to find a new head coach. Assistant coach Steve Galloway heads the pre season training that starts this week, but he is not willing to take the responsibility permanently. Åkerlund said she is working on several names, but confirmed that Mika Sankala, recently coaching GIF Sundsvall's men's premier league team, is one of the names.
Sundsvalls Tidning: Sankala aktuell för UIK

Umeå says good bye to Marta

Less than an hour ago Umeå IK submitted a press release, declaring that have left the negotiations with Marta's agent Fabiano Farah and thanks Marta for the five years they have had together.

In the press release Umeå tells that they submitted their final offer December 5. Farah acknowledged that he had recieved it and promised to return to the club within a week. They haven't heard from him since. This uninterest to discuss with the club that has been Marta's employer for the last five years makes Umeå withdraw their offer and leave the negotiations.

In the press release they are also paying tribute to Marta and calls her five seasons in Umeå "unbelievable" and says that she has "both fulfilled and exceeded" all expectations. After some more praise, they finish "We will miss her, not only as a player but also as the wonderful person she is. We wish her all the best wherever she will put down her football boots."
Västerbottens Folkblad:
UIK avslutar affären med Marta

Since the only remaining known bidder for Marta is Los Angeles Sol in the American WPS league, I think we now can consider Marta's move a done deal.

Malmö drops Marta plans, Los Angeles close to announce signing

LDB FC Malmö announced yesterday that they have taken back their contract offer to Marta as their January 5 deadline passed. They are instead focusing on another big name:
"I will not name any name, but I can say that she will sign and FIFA ranks her as one of the world's top five players" said LDB FC's Kent Widding Persson. He added that it felt good that this is a player who sincerely wants to come to Malmö.
If Widding Persson refers to the remaining top five players for the FIFA World Player award, these are besides Marta Brazil's Cristiane, England's Kelly Smith and Germany's Birgit Prinz and Nadine Angerer. And it is not Angerer - Malmö signed a new goalie in November and Angerer signed very recently a long term agreement with Frankfurt.
Dagens Nyheter:
Malmö nobbar Marta - vill värva en annan stjärna

  • Late addition: I just heard that there was a Brazilian player training with LDB FC, when they had their first session for the year yesterday. Probably not Cristiane, but I presume they will release a name tomorrow.

Umeå is also getting close to a conclusion. As far as I can understand there hasn't been any communication between Marta's agent and Umeå since the club made their final offer a month ago. Fabiano Farah, Marta's agent, claims that Umeå hasn't fulfilled their obligations to Marta. The club owes Marta for unpaid bonuses, he says, and there can be no negotiations until this is settled.
Umeå's general manager Britta Åkerlund is surprised by Farah's claims when approached by a journalist. "This hasn't been mentioned to us", she said, adding that she will of course look in to the matter.
Västerbottenskuriren: Missade bonusar upprör Martas agent

At the same time tabloid Expressen claims that Farah has signed a preliminary agreement with Los Angeles Sol, referring to a Brazilian source with direct insight in the negotiations. Marta's agreement with LA Sol will probably be revealed in connection with the FIFA World Player Gala in Zürich next week. The contract is, still according to Expressen, a three year deal worth approximately SEK 4 millions a year, including endorsements. This is just about twice as much as she makes in Sweden.

Marta's friend and team mate Johanna Frisk, who also has been offered a contract by the Los Angeles club, says that she will make up her mind the next few days, but that her decision doesn't depend on what Marta decides.

Expressen: "Marta klar för Los Angeles"

And after all this not-news and we've-heard-it-all-before, some actual events:

Djurgården has signed yet another player from Bälinge, 18 years old forward Alexandra Höglund.

Djurgården: Ung talang till Djurgården

Hammarby has picked up Sara Wiman, a 20 years old forward from 1st division team IFK Gävle.

Hammarby: Sara Wiman till Hammarby Damfotboll