While summer transfer activity is currently occupying most European clubs as they gear up for a new season, the race for top spot is already in full swing in both England and Finland. Further afield, Urawa Red Diamonds edged ahead of the pack in Japan, and in the USA the play-offs are fast approaching. FIFA.com rounds up the best of the action from selected women’s leagues around the world.

England: Birmingham stay top
In England’s Women’s Super League Birmingham City headed into a one-month hiatus on a positive note thanks to a 1-0 win over Notts County. Jo Potter’s 48th minute strike was enough to seal all three points and keep them at the summit ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool.

“We’re working very hard as a team and are delighted to be top of the league,” said Birmingham coach Dave Parker, whose charges are next in action on 24 August. “Chelsea have a world-class team and Liverpool are full-time so they will be right up there. We expect to come out of our break chasing them so it will be a different mentality for us, but there’s no reason why we cannot win the league.”

Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1 and Liverpool eased past Bristol Academy Women with a 3-1 triumph to stay in touch at the top. The chasing duo will each play two matches, including one against each other, before Birmingham’s next fixture.

Top three: Birmingham City Ladies (17 points), Chelsea Ladies FC (14), Liverpool Ladies (12)

USA: Portland Thorns on track
FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year winner Nadine Angerer is on course for the play-offs with Portland Thorns following a resounding 6-3 victory over Boston Breakers at Providence Park. Canadian international striker Christine Sinclair scored the first hat-trick in the club’s history during the rout, which moved Portland up to third in the standings. Only the top four finishers in the regular season qualify for the play-offs.

Seattle Reign are still leading the way, despite coach Laura Harvey’s charges being held to a 1-1 draw with Chicago Red Stars. Beverly Goebel put the league pacesetters in front with just 20 minutes left on the clock, only for Christen Press to hit an 81st minute equaliser. Kansas City, currently second in the table, were unable to make up any ground after they also drew 1-1 with Western New York Flash.

Top three: Seattle Reign (43), Kansas City (34), Portland Thorns (29)

Finland: Three-way championship tussle
The Finnish Naisten Liiga is increasingly shaping up to be a three-way fight for the title between Aland United, PK-35 Vantaa and FC Honka, with each of the trio picking up maximum points on Matchday 15. Aland swept Kokkola F10 aside 7-2 to maintain their one-point lead at the top, while Vantaa recorded a 2-1 win over Merilappi United and Honka thrashed ONS Oulu 4-0.

Top three: Aland United (34), PK-35 Vantaa (33), FC Honka (30)

Japan: Urawa pull clear
Urawa Red Diamonds flexed their considerable muscles in their top-of-the-table clash against Okayama Yunogo Belle in Japan’s L1 league on Matchday 14, defeating their closest challengers 4-1 to give themselves some breathing room at the league summit. Record title-holders NTV Beleza were unable to make the most of Okayama’s slip-up after failing to get the better of JEF United in a 0-0 draw. Elsewhere, three-time Japanese champions INAC Kobe Leonessa issued an unequivocal statement of their intent with a 6-0 demolition of Kibi International University FC to take their points tally up to 23.

Top three: Urawa Red Diamonds (32), Okayama Yunogo Belle (29), NTV Beleza (27)