In the flurry of a Champions League clash with Liverpool, a hotly contested Bundesliga title race with Borussia Dortmund, and some Earth-shattering, mega-transfer activity, there is a fun, exciting, and technically awesome brand of soccer being played in Bavaria — and it’s not just by Niko Kovac’s boys.
If you take a walk across Säbener Strasse, you’ll find the other world-class team training on the grounds: The FC Bayern Munich Frauen. You aren’t that familiar, eh? Well, you should be.
The Frauen have a collection of terrific players that are breaking new ground in the 2018/2019 season. Not only are the Frauen pushing their way to the top of the Women’s Bundesliga, but they just advanced to the UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinal for a date with international powerhouse FC Barcelona. They did so after a massive 5-1 walloping of Slavia Prague on Sunday:
As coach Thomas Wörle told FCBayern.com after dispatching Slavia Prague:
It was our big goal to advance to the semi-finals for the very first time in the club’s history, and the girls did really, really great today. We were the team setting the tone right from the start. It was only a matter of time before we broke through the Czechs’ defensive bulwark. We subsequently played very magisterially, even if we eased up a little bit at the back. But now we have finally managed to be among the top four in Europe. We are even happier that even such a well-known opponent as FC Barcelona is waiting for us.
The magnitude of the win wasn’t lost on the players. Captain Melanie Leupolz, a midfielder, was ecstatic to see how the squad performed in the spotlight. She said:
We made history today and are just overjoyed that we did it! We started the game really well; the three goals at halftime were important for us — also to get over our nervousness and to make things clear early on. The goal we conceded of course was unnecessary, but in the second half we were also trying to save energy for the upcoming game against Wolfsburg.
Speaking of Wolfsburg, it’s not just the Champions League that should have you excited. Just a few weeks back, the Frauen dispatched Wolfsburg, which happens to be one of the top women’s clubs in the world. By beating the Wolves 4-2, the Bayern Frauen showed grit, toughness, and skill. Currently the squad is tied atop the table with the ever-powerful Wolves, trailing only on goal differential.
The women moreover have reached the semifinals of of the women’s DFB Pokal with a 3-1 victory over 1. FFC Frankfurt on March 12th. Clearly, there is good momentum building in Bavaria. The Bayern ladies are not just breaking barriers, they are smashing right through them.
And so you may ask: exactly are these women absolutely crushing it right now? Great question! Why not get a little familiar with a few of them.
Sara Däbritz is one of the finest midfielders in Europe and leads a strong group featuring Lina Magull, Jill Roord, Sydney Lohmann, and Dominika Skorvankova. Attackers Mandy Islacker, Fridolina Rolfö, Lineth Beerensteyn are a skilled and opportunistic group. Goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger may not be as famous as Manuel-a(?) Neuer, but she’s a stalwart in her own right.
Dependable defenders Kathrin Hendrich and Carina Wenninger are part of a stellar defensive unit. And there is Gina Lewandowski, who honed her craft in the industrial region of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. (Everyone knows all great things originate in Pennsylvania!) She may not be as famous as that other Lewandowski at Bayern Munich, but she’s no slouch on the pitch either.
Those are just a few of the talents, but maybe you should watch a little closer and learn a little, and enjoy some good soccer in the process.
So get back on your couch, fire up your device of choice and give these ladies a chance. Much like famed chemistry teacher turned drug lord Walter White once said: “Nothing stops this train.”
Not even the big, bad Wolves.
The Frauen play Wolfsburg in the semifinal of the DFB Pokal on Sunday, March 31, at 9:15 AM.