Though South Africa 2010 is dominating the spotlight, the world of women’s football continues spinning, with the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Germany now just a fortnight away. FIFA.com looks at the upcoming tournament plus the latest news on the domestic and international scene.
Marta’s Gold Pride continue dominance
FC Gold Pride continue to set the pace in season two of the WPS and currently sit a point clear of new club Philadelphia Independence, with inaugural champions Sky Blue FC a further four points behind. Brazil’s FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Marta's six goals for Gold Pride have established her as joint-top scorer along with Philadelphia’s USA international striker Amy Rodriguez.
Malmo on target to end drought
In the Swedish Damallsvenskan, runaway leaders LdB Malmo are well on the way to their first title in 16 years, maintaining a ten-point margin on second-placed Kopparbergs/Goteborg, with last season’s champions Linkopings in third but still hopeful of a berth in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Prolific Dutch striker Manon Melis has led the way for Malmo with 18 goals, ably supported by Australian forward Kate Gill.
Fortuna crowned again
Fortuna Hjorring clinched the Danish Elitedivisionen, having topped the four-team final play-off round competed by the regular season’s top qualifiers. By claiming a second successive league title, Fortuna claimed their place in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, while runners-up Brondby will contest qualifiers for next season’s European club tournament.
Lyon outlast Juvisy
Lyon secured their fourth straight French title with a 5-0 final-day win at AS Montigny-le-Bretonneux to finish three points clear of Juvisy. Lyon equalled the record of four French championships in a row set by Toulouse, recording a remarkable 93 from 22 games.
Germany 2010 looms large
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup kicks off in a fortnight, with host nation Germany meeting Costa Rica in Bochum in the opening match. The various teams have been honing their final preparations, with the Germans competing in some testing friendlies. Japan claimed a 2-1 victory in which rising star Mana Iwabuchi on the scoresheet, while Germany bounced back to defeat reigning champions USA 3-1 with Alexandra Popp on target in both matches.
European qualifiers slowly taking shape
A host of 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ qualifying matches over the last month have seen the picture across the eight groups become clearer ahead of September’s play-offs for the group winners. Only Italy have secured their play-off berth to date as Finland saw their hopes disappear. England and Norway secured comeback draws against Spain and the Netherlands respectively to move to within touching distance of winning the group. Sweden need just a point from their remaining two matches, while rising force Switzerland are now in the box seat after a 3-0 win in Russia thanks to a quickfire double from the prolific Ramona Bachmann. The other groups are set to be decided when France visit Iceland, Scotland travel to Denmark and Ukraine host Poland.
T&T field completed
The 16-team line-up for September’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Trinidad and Tobago has been completed, with Spain claiming the European title to move into just their second FIFA women’s tournament. The Spaniards edged out another surprise finalist, Republic of Ireland, on penalties after a scoreless 120 minutes. The third and final place went to Germany, who overcame the Netherlands 3-0 in the play-off.
51 – The number of entries for the second season of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Inaugural champions Turbine Potsdam will head a field comprising representatives of 43 national associations, with the preliminary rounds commencing in August.
“I think you will find the same accessibility and hospitality that surrounded (Germany) 2006, but the (2011) Women's World Cup will have its own flair and emotion attached to it.”
USA legend and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 ambassador Mia Hamm.