One of the toughest things when trying to project what’s going to happen in a tournament as it progresses is how much a single performance matters in the context of the entirety of it. Great Britain was awesome against Cameroon, arguably the best game I’ve seen anyone play at the Olympics to date. But was it because Britain was that good or was Cameroon – even though they seemed to be playing hard – that poor? And even if it was Britain, can they replicate it in the next few outings? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I was encouraged.
Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Karen Bardsley looked wonderful when she was in goal yesterday during Marta XI’s team practice. She commanded her area well despite playing behind new defenders and made several reflex saves on low crosses. She also came up with a thunderous double save on Sonia Bompastor, somehow contorting her torso to block the rebound shot.
Minutes later she sauntered off nursing her shoulder, appearing considerably concerned. It turned out to be a symbolic sight for the goalkeeper who has had an outstanding season up to this point. Fantastic start, awful finish.
It looks to be over now, as Jeff Kassouf reports that Bardsley will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken collarbone. That essentially amounts to the rest of 2010 season.
Karen Bardsley has been one of WPS’ brightest breakouts this season. The Cal State Fullerton alum started only a handful of games for Sky Blue FC last season before being sidelined due to back spasms. Jenni Branam stepped in and guided the team to the inaugural WPS Championship a few months later.
It appeared as if Branam was still the preferred #1 but she broke her leg in a friendly against a boy’s team just weeks before the start of the 2010 season. (Weird how Sky Blue’s #1’s only get injured in meaningless games).
Karen Bardsley got the call-up and performed admirably in goal. She currently leads the league in both least goals conceded and in most shut-outs as she earned her fifth in a 2-0 victory against FC Gold Pride last weekend.
She has also been a consistent barrier in a Sky Blue FC defense that can be a little shifty sometimes. The back four has been a revolving door as there seems to be a new face back there nearly every match.