One of the markers for the development of the FA Women’s Super League is a marker that all club teams have: Success in the UEFA Champions League. This year’s tournament is no different with Chelsea and Manchester City representing FAWSL when play kicks off in November.
Success in the Champions League is something that has eluded FAWSL since the tournament was created in 2000. Only Arsenal in 2007 have claimed top honors and no side has ever placed second. English sides have made the semifinals ten times (Arsenal-five, Manchester City-two, Chelsea-two, and Birmingham City-one) but have had trouble getting past Lyon, who have won the Champions League a record seven times and the last five competitions.
So can either City or Chelsea unseat Les Lyonnaises? It will be a tall challenge. Outside of the champions, clubs such as Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Juventus have all bolstered their rosters and redoubled their efforts to invest in their academies. While they may still be a bit away from looking to claim a trophy they will not be an easy out.
Adding LaVelle, Mewis, and Kerr certainly help City and Chelsea’s odds. But even those additions may not be enough to overtake their European counterparts.