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Bardsley breaks collar bone in All-Star practice, out 6-8 weeks

Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Karen Bardsley broke her collar bone Tuesday while training for Wednesday night’s All-Star Game in Kennesaw, Ga. and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

Bardsley was injured in a crossing and finishing drill that Head Coach Albertin Montoya was conducting for the Marta XI team.  Truthfully, it was a freak accident as Bardsley looked to clear an incoming cross and ran into Chicago Red Stars forward Cristiane, who was trying to pull out of the challenge.

“It was just a cross and she came out and she actually ran into the forward and fell onto her shoulder and it was just like, ‘oh my gosh,'” Montoya said.  “And even the forward, Cristiane, she stopped.  But, you can get hurt walking across the street or coming out here, it wasn’t like anyone was going in reckless.  It was just a cross, she came out and ran into the player.”

Given recovery time, it is unlikely Bardsley will see action again in 2010.  The injury puts Sky Blue FC in a predicament in net.  Bardsley currently leads the league in goals against average (0.90).  She has been a savior in net for Sky Blue FC, consistently making clutch saves.

Now, Sky Blue FC must scramble to find a replacement.  Jenni Branam is not yet fit to play, leaving Kristin Luckenbill and developmental goalkeeper Shannon Myers as the only two healthy goalkeepers on the Sky Blue FC roster.  Sky Blue FC will now seek out a starting quality goalkeeper to try to fill the massive void that is suddenly in net.  Luckenbill played her only game of the year June 19 in a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Independence.  As the team searches for a goalkeeper, it should be noted that contracts become guaranteed Thursday, July 1.

As far as the All-Star Game, Bardsley will be replaced by FC Gold Pride goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.  Conveniently, Barnhart is already in Atlanta with FC Gold Pride, which is training for Saturday’s match against the Atlanta Beat.  She is second in the league in goals against average and was widely considered one of the biggest snubs from the All-Star Game.

Fans, what do you think?  This could be tough on Sky Blue FC, which may look to get rid of its surplus of defenders in exchange for a goalkeeper.  It also raises the question about injuries in All-Star Games, but it was a complete accident.

3 Comments… read them below or post one
Jeff said…
Val is a good option, but I wouldn’t say she is the No. 1 target in Philly. I think Philly would be open to parting ways with LeBlanc for the right deal. True, injuries can happen anywhere. KB was extremely upbeat about it though.
StarCityFan said…
As a Freedom fan, I know what it’s like to have to go through part of a season without a reliable goalkeeper. If I were in their position, I’d be very tempted to see what the Independence would take in return for Val Henderson. With regard to the incident itself, as I think one of the coaches noted, it’s something that could have happened at any time: during practice, walking down the street, whatever. It’s unfortunately but there’s no reason to blame the All-Star Game for it.
monica said…
What a blow for Bardsley & Sky Blue. I hope she recovers fast & it all works out for Sky Blue. I feel really bad for Bardsley

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