Two of European female football's biggest names said farewell to the continent on Saturday – and, almost inevitably, one did so with a pair of goals.
Former German internationals Inka Grings and Sonja Fuss played their last match for FC Zürich in Saturday's Swiss Cup final prior to their move to Chicago Red Stars in the new National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). Zürich completed the double with a 5-0 defeat of FC Basel and, as they stretched their domestic unbeaten run to 57 games, Grings struck twice – having scored on her September 2011 debut and set a Swiss league goals record this season.
Grings and Fuss, both 34, joined Zürich two years ago from 2009 UEFA Women's Cup winners FCR 2001 Duisburg, propelling them to a pair of Swiss titles. Defender Fuss also helped Germany to two FIFA Women's World Cup victories while striker Grings top-scored in their triumphs at UEFA Women's EURO 2005 and 2009.
Germany's third-highest goalscorer on 64, after Brigit Prinz and Heidi Mohr, Grings said: "I can't wait to take on the new challenges. To compete in one of the world's best leagues is simply the ultimate challenge. I believe any competitive athlete can relate to that."
Fuss added: "Being the competitive athlete I am, accepting this challenge was a no-brainer. I'm excited about my new team and especially about playing alongside Shannon Boxx, one of the world's best midfielders."
Chicago coach Rory Dames, whose team are yet to record an NWSL win, said: "Inka Grings has proven herself to be one of the most prolific scorers of the past decade. She brings an instant presence to our front line and has all the potential in the world to produce lots of goals for us. Like Inka, Sonja Fuss brings a wealth of experience at international level. One of her greatest assets is her versatility and ability to play anywhere across the back line."
Among other Europeans in the NWSL are Sky Blue FC's England Under-23 goalkeeper Ashley Baker; her compatriot Lianne Sanderson of the Boston Breakers, who also boast Norway's Lisa-Marie Woods; Western New York Flash's Spain striker Adriana Martín; and Wales midfielder Jessica Fishlock, playing under former Arsenal LFC manager Laura Harvey at Seattle Reign FC.
Without their German duo, Zürich will enter the 2013/14 UEFA Women's Champions League at the qualifying round stage, drawn on 27 June and played from 8 to 13 August.
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