Sky Blue FC Goalkeeper
Karen Bardsley Sidelined Indefinitely

Bardsley was a leading candidate for midseason MVP at the time of her injury (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).

Sky Blue FC Netminder Injured During Training for All-Star Game

Atlanta, Ga. (Wednesday, June 30, 2010) – Sky Blue FC was dealt a very unfortunate blow during a training session for the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) All-Star Game, resulting in goalkeeper Karen Bardsley being sidelined indefinitely with a clavicle injury. Bardsley suffered the injury following a collision on a challenge of a crossed ball during a seven-on-seven scrimmage on Tuesday.

“Obviously, Karen has been a vital part of our success here, and she has played a very important role in what we are trying to accomplish,” Sky Blue FC head coach Pauliina Miettinen said of Bardsley. “It is very unfortunate that injuries like this happen, but we must now move forward as a team. We will still look to Karen for her great leadership, even if it is coming from a different viewpoint than that to which we’ve become accustomed.”

Bardsley is the second setback for a Sky Blue FC goalkeeper this season, with the first being a knee injury to Jenni Branam during the 2010 preseason. Branam is aggressively rehabilitating her injury, but she is currently a couple of weeks away from being able to return to the field.

“This is a difficult situation for Sky Blue FC, and my heart goes out to Karen,” General Manager Gerry Marrone stated. “She was having a truly fantastic season, and it is very unfortunate that this happened. However, I know Karen will come back from this injury even stronger and will continue to play at the same exceptionally high level.”

Bardsley, who had been named a starter in tonight’s WPS All-Star Game at KSU Soccer Stadium, was in the midst of a stellar season prior to this injury. She currently leads the WPS with a goals against average of 0.90, and her five shutouts in 10 matches are two better than her nearest competition. Bardsley was also named the WPS Player of the Month for the month of May.

“It’s definitely an unfortunate situation, especially with the season that Karen has been having and all of the attributes she provides for our team,” Sky Blue FC goalkeeper coach Rick Stainton commented. “At the same time, a true test of an individual’s character and a team’s character is how you respond in times of adversity. With Karen, we will all come together and continue to move forward from there.”

The extent of her injury, along with the timetable on her return, will not be determined until the team’s medical staff at Somerset Medical Center has had the opportunity to further evaluate her situation. Bardsley will still be joining Sky Blue FC when the team travels to the White House on Thursday to be honored by President Barack Obama for winning the 2009 WPS Championship.

Sky Blue FC will return to action on Wednesday, July 7th, when the team welcomes Abby Wambach and the Washington Freedom to Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway. The team is currently offering a special promotion for fans who wish to have their photo taken with Wambach and Sky Blue FC team captain Christie Rampone. For more information on that package, contact the team today at 1-888-SBFC-TIX.

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