by Tiffany Weimer
The big news of the day goes to USWNT midfielder Tobin Heath after she signed for Paris Saint-German (PSG) of the Féminine Division, France’s top league. Heath, allocated to the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), is set to finish the season with the club, which ends in June.
This move for Heath doesn’t surprise me. I can say the same for Megan Rapinoe going to Lyon. I also wouldn’t be too surprised if both players enjoy it there more than the US. European soccer places more of an emphasis on the actual soccer part (technical and tactical) than the physical, and these players are two amazing soccer minds with expressive personalities. They will love the experience.
Féminine Division’s only downside is the quality drops a bit after the top three teams, (Lyon has scored 88 goals in 13 games so far this year). The Elitedivisionen, Denmark’s top league, has a similar situation and from my personal experience, development is dependent on the training sessions. Games occur once a week, with training on the other six days. If you are continually being challenged in training, adding in scrimmages against boys teams or teams from other countries, there is a lot to say about the experience players are gaining abroad.
Around the World
Americans Danielle Johnson (captain) and Jessica McDonald have helped Melbourne Victory to the W-League Grand Final versus Sydney FC.
On being in the W-League Final:
“Being in the W-League final is a very unexplainable feeling. That’s how exciting this all is.”
On the season:
“The season has had its ups and downs due to injuries our team has had with a few players, changing coaches a handful of times. But the most important thing is that we came together and said that we have to play for ourselves no matter what ball is thrown at us. We didn’t want any of the setbacks to be the blame for a bad season for us, so we’ve kept our heads up and kept the fight going one game at a time.”
On strategy to beat Sydney FC:
“What I think our team needs to do in order to beat Sydney is to play together. The individual strengths we have on this team are phenomenal. The greatest thing about these strengths, is when we put them all together, we can truly dominate.”
On the season being over:
“When the season is over, I will head back home to the states to reunite with my family. Get loads of rest then hopefully get to play in the NWSL which starts up this coming spring.”
On the Season
“It’s been a season full of ups and downs. We have had three season-ending knee injuries (two of which happened during the second game of the season) and a coaching change with only two games left of the regular season. Not to mention we were coach-less just one week before the start of the season. However, having said that our team has had the best regular season in the history of the club, and we are hosting our first Grand Final. There’s something special about this team that can only be described as having a fighting spirit. Whatever the circumstances, this team has dug deep and found a way to play for each other and come out on top. For me, this has truly been an unforgettable season, and I have my teammates to thank for all of it.”
On the season being over
I’m going to head back to the States to play and coach with the Bay Area Breeze.
The W-League Grand Final will be Sunday, January 27 at 3:30pm (AEDT). (If I find a link I will tweet it before Sunday.)
USWNT midfielder Megan Rapinoe scored her first goal for Lyon off a free kick over the weekend… here’s the clip in French.
Eighteen-year-old forward Lindsey Horan played 90 minutes in PSG’s 3-0 win over Toulouse.
Over the weekend, 12 of the 13 Americans playing in the Frauen-Bundesliga participated in the German Masters indoor tournament (Fiona O’Sullivan of SC Freiburg was the only one missing). Alyssa Naeher and Alex Singer took home the championship for Turbine Potsdam after
I talked to Nicole Cross (Bayern Munich) about the experience:
“At the moment, we have alot of snow in Germany. The tournament is a spectacular way to train in a competive environment.”
“My team didn’t have the success that we had wanted, which is always disappointing. Personally, I think the event is a great idea. It’s a different game than outdoors. It’s great that the German federation supports the league in so many different ways; I think it makes a huge difference in the success of the league.”
Americans in the Frauen-Bundesliga for 2013:
- Ashlyn Harris, Duisburg
- Ellie Reed, Duisburg
- Alyssa Naeher, Turbine Potsdam
- Alex Singer, Turbine Potsdam
- Amber Brooks, Bayern Munich
- Nicole Cross, Bayern Munich
- Gina Lewandowski, Bayern Munich
- Sarah Hagen, Bayern Munich
- Chioma Igwe, SC Freiburg
- Katherine Reynolds, SC Freiburg
- Fiona O’Sullivan, SC Freiburg
- Jennie Clark, SC Freiburg
- Katarina Tarr, SG Essen-Schönebeck
Beverly Goebel-Yanez re-signed with INAC Kobe for the 2013 season. She played there throughout 2012 where she won the National Cup and finished runners-up in the League Cup.
“I am very excited to re-sign with INAC Kobe for the 2013 season. I learned a lot from the club and players, and for that I am thankful. I not only enjoyed the possession style of soccer, but I have a huge amount of respect for the Japanese culture. It is difficult, at times, being so far away from family and friends, but I truly love the sport and I want to do all I can to continue to improve in as many different aspects of my game, as I can. I hope I am able to positively impact the team this year and I will work my hardest to do so.” said Goebel-Yanez
In a previous post, I mentioned Canadian defender Marie-Eve Nault had signed for Swedish side KIF Örebro DFF. Nault, who participated in both the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympics, looks to contribute right away with the team.
“I knew they were looking for a defender and that they followed the Olympics. So i contacted them and we agreed on a one year contract for the 2013 season. I’m very excited about the opportunity of continuing my career in Sweden,” said Nault. “I’m excited to meet the team at the end of February and hopefully I can bring my international experience and help the team achieve its goals for the 2013 season. As far as expectations go, I just want to be constant defensively and make sure I adapt to the system so our back four is strong and hard to penetrate. Hopefully i can help out offensively as well with a couple assists.”