American women in Europe: Champions League soccer update

Can’t promise I’ll do this every time we have UEFA games, but with the round of 32 starting this week, it seemed like a good time to check out the Women’s Champions League and see how U.S. players and a few players with U.S. ties are doing.

(I’ve surely missed people. Please add them in the comments.)

These are first-leg games in the standard two-leg format. Home teams listed first:

Zurich (Sui) 1-1 Juvisy (Fra): Only one notable name — Germany’s Inka Grings, now playing for Zurich, has moved closer to the great Hanna Ljungberg’s European scoring record. (Update from comments: Zurich’s Sonja Fuss played at Hartford.)

BIIK Shymkent (Kaz) 0-4 Roa (Nor): Easy win for the Norwegian side. Lene Mykjaland (Washington Freedom) wasn’t in the lineup yesterday as Roa apparently dressed only 14 players, including Norwegian stars Siri Nordby and Caroline Knutsen. BIIK has a surprisingly diverse squad, with players from Brazil, Serbia, China, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria.

Birmingham (Eng) 2-0 Verona (Ita): Two second-half goals for the hosts, whose lineup includes Karen Carney (Chicago). Eniola Aluko didn’t dress for Birmingham.

Spartak Subotica (Srb) 0-1 Goteborg (Swe): The winning side started Americans Christen Press (Stanford/magicJack), Yael Averbuch (North Carolina/WPS), Camille Levin (Stanford) and Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), with WPS vet Anita Asante coming off the bench. Levin had the lone goal. The Serbian side is mostly Serbian, with a couple of players from Cameroon and one from Montenegro.

Apollon (Cyp) 2-3 Torres (Ita): American Sinead Farrelly (Virginia/Philadelphia) opened the scoring for the hosts but left the game before halftime. Apollon extended the lead to 2-0, but Patrizia Panico scored a natural hat trick for the visitors in 19 minutes to take the win. American goalkeeper Arianna Criscione (Boston College/UCLA) was on the bench for Torres. Michelle Betos (Georgia/Atlanta Silverbacks) played in goal for Apollon.

PK-35 (Fin) 0-7 Lyon (Fra): Ouch. Americans Liz Bogus (Arizona State/WPS), Casey Berrier (Loyola) and Megan Chapin (Washington State/WPSL) were on the field for PK-35 against the bulk of the French national team, including former WPS stars Sonia Bompastor and Camille Abily. Sweden’s Lotta Schelin and Japan’s Ami Otaki weren’t in the 18 for Lyon. Their other big-name foreign player, Switzerland’s Lara Dickenmann (Ohio State), scored Lyon’s fourth. As Richard Farley says at Pro Soccer Talk, the defending champions may simply be too good. Lyon outshot PK 37-2 (hey, subtract 2 from 37, and you get … 35!).

Olympia Cluj (Rou) 1-1 Neulengbach (Aut): One of the round’s most anonymous matchups but one of its most dramatic so far, with the Austrians getting a late equalizer and vital road goal. Neulengbach has Canadian defender Gillian McPherson, but she wasn’t listed on yesterday’s lineup. Cluj’s only foreign player is from Cameroon.

Stabaek (Nor) 2-0 Brondby (Den): Jasmyne Spencer (Maryland), the only foreign player on Brondby’s roster, got a couple of late minutes for the visitors in a mad dash to get an away goal.

Standard Liege (Bel) 1-3 Turbine Potsdam (Ger): The good news for Standard: They somehow shut down Equatorial Guinea star Anonma. American keeper Alyssa Naeher (Penn State/Boston) was on the bench for Potsdam; a few reliable people on Twitter have told me she typically plays the Bundesliga games and sits out the Champions League games. Alex Singer (Virginia/Washington) went the distance for Potsdam. Keelin Winters (Portland/Boston/Seattle) is on Potsdam’s roster but wasn’t in the 18. Standard lists American forward Carleta Arbulu (Ohio State), but she also wasn’t involved yesterday.

Barcelona (Esp) 0-3 Arsenal (Eng): Two of the biggest men’s clubs in the world, but you’d have to say Arsenal has a bit more experience on the women’s side. Still, the final score here flatters Arsenal. Barcelona put eight shots on goal, and Arsenal keeper Emma Byrne was superb. Arsenal had several familiar names — Katie Chapman, Rachel Yankey, Alex Scott (Boston), Gemma Davison (Western NY) — but Kelly Smith (Seton Hall/WUSA/WPS)  remained on the bench. Barca’s squad is all Spanish except for one player for Argentina.

Glasgow City (Sco) 1-2 Fortuna Hjorring (Den): Tiffany Weimer (Penn State/WPS) and Lisa-Marie Woods (U.S. collegian/W-League) played the full 90 for Fortuna. Nadia Nadim got both goals and missed a PK that would’ve given her the hat trick. Casey Ramirez (Syracuse) wasn’t in Fortuna’s 18.

Stjarnan (Isl) 0-0 Zorkiy (Rus): The biggest name here was probably the referee — Sweden’s Jenny Palmqvist, who sent off Stjarnan captain Gunnhildur Yrsa Jonsdottir in the 38th minutes. The Iceland side does include Mexican Veronica Perez (Washington/St. Louis/Seattle) and American Ashley Bares (Marquette), each of whom came on as a second-half sub. (Update: I overlooked Kate Deines, who played with Washington and the Seattle Sounders. She’s listed as Icelandic at UEFA.com.) Zorkiy has two Mexican players — goalkeeper Anjuli Ladron and midfielder Fatima Leyva — who also played at FC Indiana.

THURSDAY’S GAMES (will update with quick recaps)

Sarajevo (Bih) 0-3 Sparta Praha (Cze): Sparta has only one non-Czech player — Slovakian goalkeeper Lenka Gazdikova. Sarajevo has only one foreigner as well — American Jelena Vrcelj (Jacksonville). Neither played in this game.

Unia Raciborz (Pol) 1-5 Wolfsburg (Ger): Viola Odebrecht (Florida State) is in the lineup for Wolfsburg. Rebecca Smith (Duke/New Zealand) isn’t in the 18. The Polish team has three Slovakians and one player from Equatorial Guinea, Chinasa, who scored their lone goal in this rout.

MTK (Hun) 0-4 Malmo (Swe): Malmo starts Ali Riley (Stanford/New Zealand/WPS), goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir (Iceland/Duke) and mercurial Swiss forward Ramona Bachmann (Atlanta Beat). MTK’s squad is all Hungarian.

Den Haag (Ned) 1-4 Rossiyanka (Rus): No lineup info yet. Mexico’s Teresa Noyola (Stanford) and American Brittany Persaud (Dayton/Dayton Dutch Lions) are listed on the Den Haag roster along with my fellow Athens Academy alum Libby Guess (North Carolina/W-League). Rossiyanka counters with a couple of players from Sweden and Nigeria along with Brazilian Fabiana (Boston Breakers). Noyola and Guess went the full 90, while Persaud came on in the 88th. The Russian team must be pretty good.

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3 thoughts on “American women in Europe: Champions League soccer update

  1. Also for Zurich, Sonja Fuss played collegiately for University of Hartford. One of the many foreign players Mark Krikorian brings over where ever he coaches.

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