Malmö LdB is running away with the 2010 Damallsvenskan as it is unbeaten in 15 matches this season.
Malmö sets pace in Damallsvenskan.
by Chipp Reid
The last time Malmö won the Damallsvenskan title, Bill Clinton was still president, grunge was in and the dollar was worth more than 10 kronor.
Times aren’t quite as rosy, but that hasn’t kept Malmö from stepping into the vacuum in Swedish women’s soccer to reclaim the perch it occupied back in the 1990s. Malmö holds a commanding 10-point over surprise second-place Kopparbergs/Göteborg as the Damallsvenskan landscape continues change due to the exodus of players to the fledgling Women’s Professional Soccer league in the United States.
Malmö avoided the mass of loss players that hit defending champions Linköping and perennial power Umeå IK so hard. Combined, those two teams lost 10 players to the American league, leaving the field wide open for the 2010 season. Malmö, which finished in third last season, stepped into the breach and right from the opening match, made it clear it intended to claim its sixth Swedish crown.
The Lady Blues picked up their 14th win of the season Aug. 16 with a 3-1 decision over KIF Örebro. Örebro managed to keep league-leading Manon Mellis off the scoreboard, but Emma Wilhelmsson, Pavlina Scasna and Theresa Sjögran picked up the slack as they all tallied for MFF. Mellis, who is from Holland, has 20 goals in 15 matches this year.
The win gave Malmö 43 points, 10 points better than second-place Göteborg. MFF has yet to lose this season, with just one draw keeping the Lady Blues from a perfect record.
Göteborg also won in Round 15, beating Hammarby 2-1 on Aug. 15 behind goals from Swedish internationals Kisa Dahlkvist and Linnea Liljegård.
Linköping boost by return from Chicago and WPS Defending champions Linköping, in third place, 14 points behind Malmö, got a boost as Swedish international Kosovare Asllani returned to the team after four months in America. Asllani left Chicago in the WPS to return to Sweden to boost her chances of playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year. The Swedish season is roughly twice as long as the U.S. circuit and Asllani said she thought the quality of play in the Damallsvenskan was actually higher than that I the WPS.
Asllani scored twice in her return as Linköping blasted Umeå 5-0 on Aug. 15. Linda Sällström also had a pair of goals for LFC while Josefin Öqvist scored once.
Tyresö also benefitted from problems in the WPS. When the St. Louis franchise folded half-way through the U.S. season, Swedish international Madeleine Edlund and Johanna Frisk returned to the Damallsvenskan only instead of going back to Umea, they joined fourth-place Tyresö.
Tyresö trails Malmö by 18 points but picked up a win Aug. 3 as Kirsten van den Ven scored twice and Katrin Schmidt once.
For once proud Umeå, financial problems continue to buffet the team that set the standard for Swedish women’s club football. UIK tried to reclaim its past, luring Frida Östberg back from WPS and Theresa Kaptad out of retirement, but the seven-time champions are now a pale shadow of them team they once were.
Umeå sits in eighth place and has just five victories in 15 matches.