One word sums up the women's game in May: trophies. Top German side Wolfsburg took home no fewer than three of the prizes on offer, but on the international scene, some players saw their dream of featuring at this summer's UEFA European Championship evaporate. FIFA.com reviews a traditionally busy month in the women’s game.
Faisst and Odebrecht out of EURO
Germany coach Silvia Neid named her preliminary squad for the UEFA Women's European Championship in Sweden from 10 to 28 July 2013. A total of 24 outfield players and four goalkeepers are vying for places in the final squad, although five of them will not make the cut. Neid is definitely without Wolfsburg pair Verena Faisst and Viola Odebrecht. Faisst is suffering from glandular fever and is not yet sufficiently recovered to feature in Sweden, while Odebrecht is sidelined with cartilage damage and a ruptured meniscus in her right knee. The preliminary squad comes together for an initial preparatory session in Kaiserau from 2 to 8 June.
Women’s U-19 European Championship group draw
The groups for the UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship, to be held in Wales from 19 to 31 August, were drawn on 7 May. The tournament also serves as the eliminator for the four European participants in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014. Hosts Wales, Denmark, England and France were drawn in Group A, with Group B featuring Sweden, Finland, Germany and Norway.
FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™
First referees’ seminar in Zurich
With two years to go, momentum is building in advance of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015™, not only in the qualifying competition, but also for the referee candidates. A total of 40 hopefuls from 33 countries reported to Zurich from 13 to 17 May for the first FIFA Women's World Cup referees’ seminar. Key topics included fitness, training, medical advice and theory, and match analysis. The seminar, led by FIFA’s Head of Women's Referees Sonia Denoncourt, also covered important subjects such as nutrition and injury prevention.
FC Twente claim BeNe League honours
The inaugural season in the BeNe League, featuring 16 teams from Belgium and the Netherlands, was won by Dutch side FC Twente. The last day featured a head-to-head between the two remaining title contenders, the eventual champions and Standard Liege. The Dutch team won a thrilling showdown 3-1 on their home ground, Sherida Spitse cancelling out Maud Coutereels’ opener for the Belgian visitors in the first half. After the break, Marlous Pieete and Maayke Heuver struck the goals to seal the title for Twente.
Cup triumph number twelve for Arsenal
The champagne corks popped for Arsenal Ladies in the Women's FA Cup after the Londoners beat Bristol Academy 3-0 in the final. Steph Houghton, Jordan Nobbs and Ellen White scored the goals for Shelley Kerr's team as Arsenal secured their 12th cup triumph, taking their trophy haul to 39 in total.
Lyon surrender European throne
Bayern Munich have shown the way in German men's football, but VfL Wolfsburg have matched them and more in the women's game. Bayern are within one win of a historic treble, but the Wolverines are already there after sealing the Bundesliga title on the last day and defeating Turbine Potsdam in the DFB Cup final a week later. Wolfsburg crowned their extraordinary season by upsetting the odds in the UEFA Women's Champions League final and sensationally defeating serial champions Olympique Lyon. Martina Muller scored the only goal of the game from the spot on 74 minutes to complete the French giants’ misery.
Paris Saint-Germain qualify for Champions League
Lyon had already wrapped up the French title, but the race for second spot and a place in the Champions League remained tight to the end. In the final round of matches, PSG and their Germany internationals Linda Bresonik and Anneka Krahn sealed the coveted runners-up position thanks to a 5-0 victory over Guingamp. That was also the end of the Parisian club's season, as they had previously fallen 2-0 to St Etienne in the Cup semi-finals.
New challenge for Marta Tejedor
The Peruvian association has named Marta Tejedor as its new Technical Director for women's football. The Spanish-born expert boasts enormous experience and has been tasked with ushering in a new era in the Peruvian women's game. Tejedor’s CV includes a spell as Chile women's national coach. “Thanks to her long years of experience, Marta Tejedor will contribute step-by-step to the growth of women's football in Peru. This is not about results. Our aim is to establish a project with high hopes for the future,” commented Peru FA president Manuel Burga.
Live Your Goals festivals, training, and a development seminar
May was a busy and intense month for FIFA’s women's football development programs. Activities included five Live Your Goals festivals, in Costa Rica, Estonia, Northern Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, six training courses, in Djibouti, the Republic of Ireland, Namibia, Senegal, Thailand and Uganda, and a development seminar in New Zealand.
95 - Prior to the Champions League final, Olympique Lyon were undefeated in 95 consecutive competitive fixtures.
"A little bit of luck would be nice. I do think you need a lot of luck along the way. It needs to come together and everyone needs to be singing from the same hymn sheet. We’ve got a great squad, so hopefully everyone sticks together as a team, executes the game plan that we’ve been given and has no fear."
England international Ellen White on UEFA EURO 2013 in Sweden