OL Reign has signed England international goalkeeper Karen Bardsley on loan from Manchester City.
“I am really excited to be joining OL Reign over this period and very grateful to Man City for allowing me the opportunity to experience a new environment to get more game time and progress my learning and development,” said Bardsley. “I’ve been very impressed with the whole approach and attitude of everyone at OL Reign and I can’t wait to meet up with the squad and coaches. NWSL is such a competitive league, and I’m determined to do all I can to help the Club get the season off to a winning start.”
Bardsley, 36, hails from Santa Monica, California, and played at Cal State Fullerton before graduating in 2006.
Bardsley represents England at the international level, amassing 81 caps since her first match for the Lionesses in 2005. She made appearances for England in the 2011, 2015, and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups, and in the 2013 and 2017 UEFA Women’s Euros. Bardsley also represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.
Bardsley has been with Manchester City since the 2013 season, playing in over 100 matches across all competitions for the club. Bardsley won the league with Man City in 2016 and picked up trophies for Women’s FA Cup wins in the 2016/2017, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 competitions.
Bardsley is a U.S. citizen, which has allowed OL Reign to sign the keeper without utilizing an international slot. Her loan with OL Reign will conclude on June 30, 2021.
“Karen is a player with very big experience. She has played in many important games and knows what it takes to win big matches,” said OL Reign head coach Farid Benstiti. “Our goalkeeping situation is complicated this year. We have started with Cosette, a young goalkeeper with so much great potential. And now we add Karen, who will be ready to play immediately. We have another keeper already signed that will join mid-season, and when Karen departs in June, we will have another top player to replace her. It is complicated, but very good. It makes me happy to have so many very good goalkeepers with us this season—some younger, some more experienced—all will make big contributions to our project.”
With the addition of Bardsley, OL Reign now has 26 players under contract for the 2021 season.
OL REIGN ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (2): Karen Bardsley, Cosette Morché
Defenders (7): Lauren Barnes, Amber Brooks, Celia (LOAN/NYR), Steph Cox, Machaela George, Madison Hammond, Sam Hiatt
Midfielders (9): Angelina, Shirley Cruz (INT/NYR), Jess Fishlock (LOAN/NYR), Kelcie Hedge (SEI), Allie Long, Kristen McNabb, Quinn, Dani Weatherholt, Rosie White (NYR)
Forwards (8): Bethany Balcer, Sofia Huerta, Tziarra King, Nicole Momiki, Leah Pruitt, Megan Rapinoe (NYR), Jasmyne Spencer, Ally Watt (SEI)
INT – International Slot
SEI – Season Ending Injury List
LOAN – Player on Loan
NYR – Player has not yet reported for preseason training