It has been another big month for women's football. The highlight came when the cream of Europe battled for continental supremacy in Finland, but there was also plenty of news in the aftermath of the inaugural WPS season in the USA. As always, FIFA.com is on hand to provide coverage of all the main developments.
Germany confirm Euro dominance
World champions Germany confirmed their status as Europe's No1 women's football nation with a comprehensive 6-2 win over England in the final of the UEFA Women's EURO earlier this month. The win in Finland was Germany's fifth European title on the bounce, and seventh overall. Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that the Germans are now unbeaten in 47 European Championship matches, including qualifying, since May 1996.
The continued rise of young talent such as Fatmire Bajramaj and Kim Kulig further enhancing German hopes of claiming a third consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup on home soil in 2011. Yet perhaps most intimidating for opponents will be the attacking partnership of Birgit Prinz and Inka Grings, the latter of whom well and truly stepped out of the shadow of her more famous strike-partner by scored six times to claim the competition's golden boot award.
England proved that they are a force on the rise by displaying impressive form throughout the tournament, and coach Hope Powell has an solid core group of players at her disposal including the likes of Eniola Aluko, Karen Carney and Kelly Smith. The Netherlands also surprised many onlookers by reaching the semi-finals only to be eliminated in extra time by the English, while Norway yet again showed their durability only to fall to the eventual winners one match short of the final.
*Road to Germany 2011 *
European qualifying for Germany 2011 commenced in earnest last week with a host of matches highlighted by Sweden struggling to overpower Belgium at home before eventually prevailing 2-1. Russia picked up an important 2-1 win in Switzerland just days after the Swiss had started well with a 2-0 defeat of Republic of Ireland. Poland caused perhaps the biggest surprise with a comprehensive 4-1 win over European finalists Ukraine.
Club football *Trans-continental match-up
*The inaugural edition of the Women's Professional Soccer season in the USA concluded with a one-off match between the WPS All-Stars and Swedish powerhouse Umea in St Louis. The WPS side prevailed 4-2 but were forced to come from two goals down against the Swedish champions, who were without star Swiss striker Ramona Bachman. For the All-Stars, Canada's Christine Sinclair grabbed a brace, veteran USA international Kristine Lilly got on the scoresheet as did Brazilian superstar Marta, playing against her old club.
In the post-season awards, Marta collected the player of the year and golden boot award thanks to her contribution to premiers Los Angeles Sol. Boston Breakers' Amy LePeilbet collected the defender of the year award and St Louis Athletica's Hope Solo was named goalkeeper of the year.
*Season underway in Germany
*The German women's Bundesliga recently commenced with reigning champions FFC Turbine Potsdam under threat. The primary aspirants are FFC Frankfurt, who can call on stars such as Birgit Prinz, Nadine Angerer and Ariane Hingst to name but a few.
*Action resumes Down Under
*After a one year hiatus for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, New Zealand's national women's league will return next month, and will include a New Zealand U-17 team for the first time. Teams from five of New Zealand Football's seven regional federations will compete alongside the Young Football Ferns for the national title currently held by Auckland.
Across the Tasman Sea, the Australian W-League will commence its second season on 3 October with a small influx of international talent set to boost the ranks across the eight-team competition. Reigning champions Brisbane Roar will again start as favourites.
The number 21 - the number of goals Germany scored in just six matches as they marched to another European crown.
The quote *"This title can create euphoria towards 2011. We want to excite many people and the European title is surely helpful for this goal," German captain Birgit Prinz.*