March 12, 2010

Damallsvenskan 2010 preview 2

Stability in the next two places

Last year's third and fourth place teams, LdB FC Malmö and Kopparbergs/Göteborg, ended the season tied on points, with LdB finishing ahead through a clear edge in goal differential. Unlike last year's top two teams Linköping FC and Umeå IK, both LdB and K/G will return with most of the same players that served them so well in 2009.

LdB FC Malmö has picked up Australian international Kathryn Gill, who played last year for Sunnanå, and had a head or foot in each of Australia's three goals against North Korea last week. LdB also returns national team midfielders Therese Sjögran and Nilla Fischer, and defender Lina Nilsson, while they have lost Czech player Pavlína Ščasná to WPS's Atlanta Beat. LdB start the season on April 5 in an away match in Stockholm against Hammarby, which should be a victory for LdB.

Kopparbergs/Göteborg returns most of its squad from last year, including last season's point and goal leader (and "Breakthrough of the Year" winner) Linnea Liljegärd. They also keep national team regulars goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl and defender Stina Segerström, and national-team-sometimes midfielder/forwards Johanna Almgren and Sara Lindén. They also acquire midfielder Lisa Dahlqvist, late of Umeå IK, who had a good showing for the national team in last year's European Championships. Veteran defender Jane Törnqvist had knee surgery in the off-season and does not seem to have played in pre-season matches. K/G starts its season on April 3 with an away match against Linköping FC, in what will be a hard test for each team.