Team GB: 5 potential replacements for Karen Bardsley at Tokyo Olympics

Karen Bardsley

Team GB could have a major dilemma on their hands after Karen Bardsley suffered an injury during OL Reign's latest NWSL fixture.

The goalkeeper, who is currently on loan from Manchester City, was carried off the pitch with a hamstring problem in the eventual 1-0 loss to Washington Spirit.

The extent of the injury is yet to be confirmed, but with the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, Hege Riise may need to think on her feet and call up a replacement goalkeeper. GiveMeSport Women looks at the options the Norwegian could consider...

Carly Telford

Carly Telford

As another tried and tested veteran of the game, Carly Telford would be a smart choice for Riise. The Chelsea shot-stopper has been in the game just shy of two decades and has represented her country since 2007. 

Telford was part of the bronze medal-winning England team at the 2015 World Cup, playing back-up to Bardsley who made the All-Star squad. 

The 33-year-old was also one of the first 17 women's players to be given central contracts by the FA in 2009. She is undeniably one of the most experienced players still in the game and would be a natural fit to replace Bardsley as the veteran keeper.

Mary Earps

Mary Earps

Despite not featuring in the England set up for some time now, Mary Earps still has a good amount of experience both domestically and on the international stage.

The Manchester United goalkeeper enjoyed the Lionesses' SheBelieves Cup victory in 2019, when they beat usual winners USA to the title. Earps also gained some experience outside of England during her stint with VfL Wolfsburg. There, she won the Frauen Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal before United came knocking.

Since Siobhan Chamberlain's retirement, the 28-year-old has cemented herself as the Reds' number one and narrowly missed out on securing Champions League football last season. Earps could be a good option to serve as back up to Ellie Roebuck this summer.

Lee Alexander

Lee Alexander

Adding Glasgow City goalkeeper Lee Alexander to the roster would make her just the third Scottish player in the squad. But her pedigree speaks for itself.

The 29-year-old has 20 caps for Scotland and has been in the domestic game since 2007. She is currently at the top of the SWPL1 table with Glasgow, who look set to lift this season's title. Alexander has contributed solidly to their impressive 17-game win ratio out of 20 played in the league so far.

She has risen through the Scotland academy after initially representing at an U17 level. Alexander boasts nine league titles and six Scottish cups.

Her experience would make a good asset to this Team GB, which is heavily dominated by English talent. 

Promote Sandy MacIver and add a new reserve

Sandy MacIver

The rising young talent that is Sandy MacIver could be given a huge opportunity to really kick start her international career.

Despite having just the one senior cap for England, the 22-year-old has more than earned her place in the Team GB squad. She is currently listed as a reserve player, alongside fellow youngsters Lotte Wubben-Moy, Niamh Charles and Ella Toone. Situations like this are exactly why Riise named four reserve players in the squad.

MacIver enjoyed a strong season with Everton in the WSL and put Manchester City to the sword in last campaign's FA Cup final. This could be the opportunity she has been waiting and working for. However, promoting MacIver would mean Riise has a slot on the reserve bench to fill.

Here's a list of potential new reserves who could go hand-in-hand with a MacIver promotion...

Hannah Hampton

Hannah Hampton

Although she is yet to receive her first senior cap, Hannah Hampton is often selected to join the Lionesses camp as part of the training squad. So, while she may not have represented her country at international level yet, she has been in and around the same environment.

Hampton was also one of the main reasons Birmingham City managed to avoid relegation last season. The 20-year-old pulled off some superb performances, including draws against Spurs, Everton and Reading.

Anna Moorhouse

Anna Moorhouse

The often forgotten Anna Moorhouse is the final reserve option we feel Riise could consider, should she opt to promote MacIver. 

The 26-year-old has a wealth of domestic experience in the top flight, but is yet to make any sort of appearance for her country. However, that isn't the be all and end all.

Moorhouse spent a year with Arsenal, training alongside Manuela Zinsberger and making five first team appearances. She then went on to spend two seasons with West Ham, featuring in 14 senior games.

Since then, she has moved away from the WSL and is currently plying her trade in France. Moorhouse plays for Bordeaux, where she is enjoying a strong D1 campaign.

The 26-year-old has kept a total of ten clean sheets this season for third-place Bordeaux, with only Christiane Endler and Sarah Bouhaddi tallying more. Her commanding presence in goal could make her a strong candidate to be given a lifeline ticket to the Olympics.

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