By Ryan Wood
As the January transfer period draws to a close in some European countries, the mad dash is on and players are on the move. Just this morning, it was confirmed that Japanese international midfielder and 2011 FIFA World Cup champion Kozue Ando has signed for 1. FFC Frankfurt after having played last year for FCR 2001 Duisburg. Elli Reed, a defender at Duisburg last season after leaving the Boston Breakers following the WPSL Elite season, has also departed from Duisburg. This opens up the possibility that Reed will play in the newly formed professional league in the U.S., the National Women’s Soccer League. Why are players leaving Duisburg? Reports out of Germany suggest that the club will soon file for bankruptcy.
Twenty-year-old Scottish striker Emma Mitchell is on her way from Glasgow City to mid-table SGS Essen in Germany’s Bundesliga. City has seen a mass exodus of sorts this transfer season, losing three of its top players. City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black commented, “It’s becoming a habit writing these farewell statements.” In addition to Mitchell, City has said goodbye to Jane Ross and Lisa Evans. Mitchell has been a mainstay at City, having played for the Scottish league champions since she was 15 years old.
Swedish international forward Sofia Jakobsson has exited Russia, having played for Rossiyanka last year, and she now takes her game to London to play for Head Coach Emma Hayes at Chelsea. Jakobsson was rumored to be in talks with Paris Saint-Germain prior to her decision to sign with Chelsea. The FA Women’s Super League side has had a busy offseason, inking the likes of Eniola Aluko and Iceland national team duo Olina Vidarsdottir and Edda Gardarsdottir , who both come over from KIF Örebro of Sweden’s Damallsvenskan.
Staying in England, we saw one significant interleague transfer and one notable exit. Former England national team defender, capped nearly 50 times for her country, Becky Easton is on the move from Everton to Liverpool. Easton joins an army of players signed by Liverpool this offseason … Jodie Taylor, who has played professionally in four countries throughout her young career, is leaving England, departing from Birmingham City to play for Damallsvenskan side Goteborg in Sweden. Taylor has previously played for the Melbourne Victory (Australia), and the Pali Blues (U.S.) and Ottawa Fury (Canada), both of the USL W-League.
Nigeria national team forward Francisca Ordega, who played in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup for the Super Falcons, is heading to Sweden’s Damallsvenskan to play for Pitea. She last was linked to Russian club Rossiyanka, but a nagging injury sidelined her, and she reportedly never made it onto the field in an official match for Rossiyanka.
Danish rising star, 18-year-old defender Luna Gewitz, has signed for Montpellier in France. Gewitz has played for Denmark’s U-17 and U-19 teams. Gewitz most recently played for Skovbakken in Elitedivisionen.
The transfer window closes today (Jan. 31) in Germany as well as a small handful of other European countries. Iceland’s deadline extends until mid-April, while signings in Scandinavian countries run until March 31.