Lotta surprised by American league draft

When the new professional USA league Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) announced the result of their first international draft last week, Lotta Schelin was drafted by the St. Louis club as their third pick. Lotta, in Sweden playing the last Euro qualification matches with the national team, reacted with some surprise:

"I have no idea about this at all. I don't even know what club it is", she told a reporter before starting to ask him about the American league: How many clubs are there? How many players were drafted? Which club drafted me?

"But of course it's fun", she added. "I've always felt it would be fun to play in USA, but this is nothing I've been thinking about." But she adds that as she just has moved to France, it's hard to decide for a new league.

Svenska Dagbladet: Schelin: "Visste absolut ingenting"

Lotta continues to score as Lyon continues to win

In the 5th round of the French league, Lotta Schelin's Olympique Lyon defeated Nord Allier Yzeure in her first away match. Nord Allier opened with a 35 meter shot that OL keeper Bente Nordby couldn't catch, but Lotta equalised seven minutes later, in the 32nd minute, as she exploited a defensive mistake. In the second half the Lyon machine began to roll and Lotta assisted Lyon's Brazilian striker Katia to 1-2. The match finishes 1-4, Lyon's fifth straight win, Lotta playing all 90.

Three goals and two assists in Lotta's debut

(c) SVT

In a roaring 12-0 win for Olympique Lyon against guesting Vendenheim, Lotta Schelin didn't disappoint her new employers. In the short news (look under "EN BREF") published at OL's website, the result is attributed in particular to "the superb service of Swedish recruit Lotta Schelin". Three goals and two assists over a full 90 minutes appearence seems to have made her player of the match. Albeit against Vendenheim, almost bottom of the table with 1 draw in 4 matches. Lyon leads with a 4-0-0 record and 21 goals scored against 1 allowed.

In an interview earlier this week, Lotta talked about her problems communicating with her teammates. She is learning French, but so far "It's a lot of gestures and a little English. I just try to get understood any way I can." She also said it will take some time before she is used to how Lyon and the different player plays. So, if she plays like this without really understanding players or team, what will come when she does?
Aftonbladet: Drömdebut för Schelin

SVT has a four minute long report from Lotta's début, both match pictures and some hanging around in downtown Lyon. Lotta is happy and relaxed after the game: "It feels goood and the sun is shining". But, she adds, playing Vendenheim felt a bit like "when the [Swedish] national team plays one of the weaker European sides, like Ro.." and she cuts off before mentioning any by name. Seriously, if you just go by the clip, Bälinge is a quality side compared to Vendenheim.
SVT: Schelin tremålsskytt i premiären (VIDEO)

Btw, the easiest place for non-francophones to keep up with results and standings in the French league is women.soccerway.com. Immaculately updated.

Four professionals to Cyprus

Sandra Örtendahl, Mikaela Örtendahl, Frida Andersson och Emina Curt before leaving Göteborg
(c) Linden Larseric, GT

Somewhat in the funny/peculiar department. Four Swedish players from Göteborg - backup goalie Frida Andersson in 1st division Jitex and Emina Curt, Mikaela Örtendahl and Sandra Örtendahl from 2nd division Vallens IF (Sandra and Mikaela with a history in Jitex) - has signed one plus one year professional contracts with the Cyprus club A.E.K. Kokkinonchorion.
The four players were in Aiya Napa, where the club resides, for a try-out in August and impressed greatly on the locals. A.E.K has been going through a slump the last year, but the management wants to see the club dominating in Cyprus and playing in UEFA Women's Cup and are not afraid to invest.
The standard of women's football on Cyprus is not very high, but the Swedish players are very satisfied with the training facilities and club organization.
No wage figures has been mentioned, but they seem to be high enough for the girls to devote themselves entirely to training and playing.
Göteborgsposten: Inte bara Schelin blir proffs

For those who want to follow the girls, they have opened a blog at cypern.sportsevent.se. If you don't understand Swedish, you can always try to throw the text in Google Translate and see what happens.

Lotta ready to start for Lyon

(c) Ciprian Gorga, Göteborgsposten

Lotta Schelin's belated début for Olympique Lyon will probably be this weekend in the home game against relegation struggling Vendenheim. That is if the paperwork is completed and if coach Benstiti picks her.
She has liked the trainings, which has been high paced and high quality. "There are a lot of internationals on the team" explains Lotta, "so it's almost like training with the national team".
Göteborgsposten: Schelin äntligen redo för debut
Edit: Schelin is on the 16 player squad that Lyon late Friday afternoon announced for the Sunday match.

In other Lyon news, the Japanese U20 side will visit Lyon for a couple of warm-up matches before the U20 World Cup in October. Lyon's full side will play the Japanese team on Spetember 30.
Lyon's website also announces that the second group round of the UEFA Women's Cup will be played in Lyon October 9-14. Besides Lyon the participating teams will be Arsenal of England, Zürich Frauen from Switzerland and Austrian Neulengbach.
Olweb: L’OL féminin jouera à GERLAND avec Arsenal, Zürich et Neulengbach

Lotta on Lyon: This is what I've always wanted

(c)Ciprian Gorga, Göteborgsposten
(c) Ciprian Gorga, Göteborgsposten

Lotta Schelin's old home newspaper, Göteborgsposten, did a two page spread on Lotta's life in Lyon last Saturday. Some snippets from that:

Lotta's ambition has always been to play professionally abroad, but she doesn't speak a word French, has never been to France before and anyway, it's always been USA. A few years ago playing in a European team wasn't even a thought.

"USA has always been my goal and in some ways it still is. I'm missing out on a season I could have played there, but that's no big deal. I have many years of playing left", Lotta Schelin says.

Lyon started showing their interest last spring, and Lotta was a bit tempted already from the beginning: "It was a challenge - the language, a new town, playing in the UEFA Women's Cup. And I needed a challenge" tells Lotta, who had played 7 years in the same club. "I really couldn't say no. This was what I'd been waiting for and you can't chicken out when it becomes real".

Lotta doesn't want to comment on her salary, but she is satisfied: "I had a good life in Göteborg too, but of course there is a difference" she says and comments that the kind of money she makes now makes her feel more safe.

She's only been in Lyon for a week and just had a few training sessions with her new teammates. She is still staying in a hotel room, but she should be able to move into her apartment shortly. She still feels a bit at loss sometimes, but have started learning French. And Lyon is a completely different club from anything she's seen so far. Swedish tabloid Expressen tells that the club president Aulas, who is taking his private jetplane to watch Lyon's Swedish midfielder Kim Källström play in Sweden's World Cup qualifier against Hungary on Wednesday, invited her to come along. "You can't see anything like that in a Swedish club".

Lotta Schelin not cleared for play this weekend

Lotta Schelin, recently signed with Olympique Lyonnais, will not dress for the home game against Montpellier in the French top tier. The paperwork necessary to transfer her player registration from Sweden to France has not been completed in time. Lotta Schelin's debut in the French league will now probably be the home game next weekend against Vendenheim.
Göteborgsposten: Lyon-debuten dröjer för Lotta

Therese Lückner trying out for WPS

Therese Lückner, presently with Swedish 1st division side Qbik, has travelled to Tampa, Florida to participate in the W-League Combine, a huge tryout for the professional soccer league WPS, that starts up April 2009.
Lückner was encouraged by a Qbik teammate the 2007 season, Lauren McIver, to come over to USA and play with McIver's W-League team Boston Renegades. She went over in May this year, played 11 matches and generally impressed as a defender. When the 128 player list for the combine was announced, she was one of the 20 players that got a specific mention.
The result of the try-out will not be announced until later this fall. But wouldn' it be kind of funny if this 24 years old 2nd tier player without national team experience should be one of the few Swedish players that got a contract with the new professional American league?
WPS: 20 players for USL W-League Combine unveiled
Nya Wermlandstidningen: ”Adidas” efterlyser skärpning

Keeping up with Swedish players abroad

This is a try to keep up with the Swedish women footballers, that are plying their trade in other first division leagues than the Swedish Damallsvenskan. It's named after Lotta Schelin, the first in the current generation of Swedish national team players to sign a deal with a foreign club.

The main scope of the blog will be Swedish national team players, but I will try to keep an extra eye at the major European leagues and the new American professional league WPS, even when the players aren't on the national team pool. I will not cover American college soccer, even if there are lots of Swedish players there, and I will probably not care that much about players from farm teams and benches of Damallsvenskan sides, that are on loan to Finnish or Danish premier division sides. On the other hand, anything that seems a little fun, unexpected or peculiar will find it's way here.

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