Women’s leagues get back to business

Now that the curtain has come down on another intriguing UEFA Women’s EURO contest, the major female leagues in Europe and elsewhere have taken centre stage once more. One week after the final of the continental event in Sweden, competitors in the host nation’s Damallsvenskan took to the pitch again, as did their counterparts in Norway.

In Switzerland, the Nationalliga A embarked upon a brand new season, while in USA, Kansas City became the first team to book their place in the play-offs. FIFA.com rounds up all the highlights in four of the major women’s leagues around the world.

Sweden: Tyreso continue unbeaten run
Five of the six encounters on the fixture list of Matchday 12 in the Swedish Damallsvenskan took place on Sunday, exactly one week after Germany’s EURO triumph in Solna. Defending champions and league leaders Tyreso FF confirmed their status of favourites, coming from behind to defeat Kristianstads DFF 3-2 in a closely contested affair. Americans Meghan Klingenberg and Christen Press were instrumental in turning the match around late on.

On Tuesday, LdB Malmo will have a chance to cut the gap at the top to three points when they take on the league’s bottom side, Sunnana SK. Below the top two, Kopparbergs/Goteborg FC leapfrogged Linkopings FC – who lost 3-1 to Mallbackens IF – to go third after overcoming Pitea IF 1-0.
Top three: Tyreso FF (30 points), LdB Malmo (24), Kopparbergs/Goteborg FC (23)

USA: Kansas claim play-off place
The USA’s National Women's Soccer League is entering a decisive stage of the season. The attention of the eight teams involved is increasingly focused on Matchday 22, which will signal the end of the regular season. The leading four teams in the standings will then qualify for the play-offs, made up of two semi-finals and a final.

In front of a record crowd of 17,619 fans at Jen-Wen Field, Kansas City silenced the home support by beating Portland Thorns 3-2. Undefeated in ten matches, FCKC now boast 38 points, a total that guarantees the Midwesterners a spot in the top four. Vlatko Andonovski’s charges are the first to mathematically qualify for the NWSL post-season, but Portland, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash do appear likely to join them in the coming weeks.
Top four: Kansas City (38 points), Portland Thorns (34), Sky Blue FC (34), Western New York Flash (31)

Switzerland: Nationalliga A under starter’s orders
On paper, FC Zurich should not have too many problems getting over the departure of two of their stars, Inka Grings and Sonja Fuss, for the NWSL. In fact, Dorjee Tsawa’s national champions enjoyed an excellent start to their 2013/14 campaign.

They shrugged off the summer heat to overwhelm SC Schwyz 7-1, a result that sees them immediately occupy a familiar berth at the top of the table, with a Fabienne Humm hat-trick plus strikes from Mirnije Selimi, Rahel Kiwic, Cinzia Zehnder and Coumba Sow doing the damage. Young Boys and FC Basel also got off to a good start; the Berne-based outfit overpowered FC Staad 4-0, while Basel saw off St Gallen 3-1.
Top three: FC Zurich, Young Boys, FC Basel (all 3 points)

Norway: No change at the top
Stabaek, who can rely on nine members of the Norwegian squad that finished runners-up to Germany at EURO 2013, continue to set the pace in the Toppserien. Against last-placed IL Sandviken, Ingrid Hjelmseth, Ingvild Stensland, Toril Akerhaugen, Trine Ronning, Cathrine Dekkerhus, Elise Thorsnes, Caroline Hansen and Leni Kaurin all combined to great effect to emerge victorious by a score of 6-0.

In doing so, Oyvind Eide’s players recorded their  tenth success in 11 games. However, the leaders will still have to be wary of the challenge posed by second-placed Lillestrom SK, who got the better of Koboltn IL 2-0 to remain within two points of the top.
Top three: Stabaek FK (31 points), Lillestrom SK (29), Arna-Bjornar (19)