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Frauen-Bundesliga: Second Half Preview

by Olaf Goldbecker

Ten games to go for all teams in 2013 said the Bundesliga schedule prior to the 2012/13 season. That was not quite the case but after Essen v Duisburg (2-0) and Leverkusen v Freiburg (1-1) were already played this year, there are just two open makeup games left (Potsdam v Sindelfingen, Jena v Frankfurt). We are taking a look at the teams before the season officially gets on the way again.

 VfL Wolfsburg – #1, 29 pts

The Wolves invested a lot in the recent past and this paid off. They barely ever had problems, just faded late when winter started.  With a plus/minus of 42-8 goals they are the best offense as well as the best defense of the league. Veterans Conny Pohlers and Martina Müller, young guns Alex Popp and Zsanett Jakabfi strike in at least every second game on average. “No title would be a disappointment”, says Coach Ralf Kellermann, given that his teams leads the standings and is in the semifinals of the national cup competition as well as in the quarter finals of the Champions League. OGM says: Kellermann is right, no title would be a little miracle given their position and they should carry home the championship.

 Turbine Potsdam – #2, 25 pts (+1 game to play)

A major roster change before the season – nearly all German NT players left – and a major injury blow. Only coaching general Bernd Schröder is able to handle that and keep his team successful. The strong offense always is a big factor for the team, Yuki Ogimi and Genoveva Anomna mark one goal per game each and provide the necessary security. Also in winter Turbine did some changes. Keelin Winters returned to the USA but new in Potsdam are Norway’s NT captain Maren Mjelde, the Norwegian twin talents Ada and Andrine Hegerberg as well as Ogimi’s younger sister Asano Nagasato. OGM: The second place couldn’t be expected prior to the season but the standings give them a good shot and the roster got stronger in the break

 1.FFC Frankfurt – #3, 22 pts (+1 game to play)

Yet another disappointing season after a big shopping tour at the Main metropolis. They allowed twice as many goals as Wolfsburg and barely scored half of their goals – that is an evident language for the ambitious team. Early in the season the coach was changed but this didn’t bring a major change either. As a reaction they shopped every available forward with NT experience and came out with adding Tameka Butt, Lise Munk and Kozue Ando. This should make them stronger up front but the random picking of forwards with names shows that they still didn’t understand the real problems of the team. OGM: quality is available on the roster without any doubt, qualifying for the Champions League still is possible but so far the team didn’t leave the impression that they would give everything to reach their aims

Bayern München – #4, 21 pts

Munich is crazy, they win the difficult games (Frankfurt, Wolfsburg) and lose the easy ones. As a result they are on rank 4 which is where they were expected – given the wins over top teams they could also compete for the Champions League though. The players are big and physical, what’s lacking is creative play. Amber Brooks is new in the winter break. OGM: the team should get more sovereign in the 2013 season part but a top 3 finish would be a surprise

SC Freiburg – #5, 22 pts

The surprise team of the season. A mid-season finish was not out of reach prior to the season but the number of points is a surprise as well as the quality performances on the field. Freiburg didn’t get active in the winter break, simply as there was no reason to. OGM: the team continues as they did before, finish 4 or 5

SGS Essen – #6, 18 pts

Essen continues as they did before. They don’t necessarily have a top roster but Coach Högner worked out a good defensive strategy, which makes them collect surprise points here and there. Emma Mitchell was signed from Glasgow City in the break. OGM: rank 6 is as high as the team can get, they will finish between 6 and 8

 SC Bad Neuenahr – #7, 14 pts

Less than one goal per game scored, 1.33 allowed per game – Bad Neuenahr’s games certainly are not endangered to cause heart attacks. Their rock solid defensive system make it hard for opponents to score, while the offensive threat also stays in limits. Celia Okoyino da Mbabi still is their biggest weapon – and after Nicole Rolser’s leaving to Liverpool she might be the only one left on offense. OGM: beautiful soccer is something different but Bad Neuenahr finishes safely between 6 and 8

FF USV Jena – #8, 14 pts (+1 game to play)

Well, if you think that Bad Neuenahr’s numbers are remarkable you will be shocked by Jena. They allowed one goal more but collected their points by scoring only 8 goals, which makes them the second worst offense in the league. With Kathleen Radtke, Jena sees one important player leave to LdB FC Malmö, while the finances don’t allow to compensate this loss. OGM: Jena is safe in the league, finish between 9 and 10

 Bayer Leverkusen – #9, 11 pts

A very talented but  young team had lots of difficulties at the beginning of the season and required the last games to get some safety over the relegation spots. In contrast to the teams in the three spots above them, Bayer is more concerned with attacking than defending during games. In the break they added talent Carolin Simon from Wolfsburg. OGM: High talent but high inexperience level will lead to additional points once the relegation pressure is off the chest of the young team – finish 8-10

 FCR Duisburg – #10, 11 pts

The team caused the most headlines in the winter break when they announced that they couldn’t bring the season to an end financially. Consequence was that the club filed for insolvency and put themselves in the hands of an insolvency lawyer, who lately announced that the financing is safe until the season end, but after 90 days the creditors will have to decide whether or not it goes on. Head Coach Ketelear left, former player Petra Hauser took over. Kozue Ando, Elli Reed and Nicole Banecki all left the club in the break. OGM: lots of quality has been lost, even if the team survives financially they can be drawn into deep relegation trouble on the field

 FSV Gütersloh – #11, 7 pts

The newly promoted team caught a surprise start only to find themselves on an eight-game losing streak now. Former U-20 World Champion Kristina Gessat terminated her contract in the winter break, while hopes rely on Austrian NT player Marion Gröbner and Swiss NT player Lara Keller who were signed in the break. OGM: it will be a hard road for Gütersloh – in two of their first three games they face Sindelfingen and Duisburg, both games need to be won if they want to stay in the league

 VfL Sindelfingen – #12, 4 pts (+1 game to play)

Four goals scored, 40 goals conceded, nine of eleven games lost – no doubt, this team has no Bundesliga quality. Due to lacking finances no new players could be signed while some even left the club. The whole league still wonders how the team was able to defeat Freiburg – three of their four season goals happened in that game within five minutes after being two goals down. OGM: Sindelfingen might annoy one or two other teams in a singular game but their relegation will be sealed soon

Olaf Goldbecker

Olaf covers the Frauen-Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Women’s EUROS and player signings.

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