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Karen Bardsley named to Olympic squad

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Plus, five other OL Reign players receive international call-ups in June.

Nikita Taparia/SounderAtHeart

This morning, Team GB head coach Hege Riise announced her squad for the Tokyo Olympics. Included in the group is OL Reign goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, who was the No. 1 goalkeeper for England for the last decade before an injury saw her miss significant time last year.

Bardsley joined OL Reign on loan from Manchester City in the hopes of getting minutes and working her way back onto Team GB for the Olympics. The 36-year-old’s steady, consistent play for OL Reign certainly helped make the case for her inclusion.

Another notable face for OL Reign fans is Kim Little, one of two Scottish players named to the 18-player roster. Little rounds out a midfield that includes Welsh international Sophie Ingle, Jill Scott, Keira Walsh, and Scotland international Caroline Weir.

One player missing? That would be Welsh Dragon Jess Fishlock, who has consistently been among the best players in the NWSL and FA WSL last year with Reading. Team GB will likely wish they had a midfield option like Fishlock when they compete in Japan. There’s not a lot of bite and grit in what is admittedly a talented midfield.

Bardsley’s loan with OL Reign was only through the end of June, during which time both Sarah Bouhaddi and Phallon Tullis-Joyce arrive.

Other June International Call-Ups

In addition to Bardsley’s Olympic call-up, five other OL Reign players will suit up for their national teams during a FIFA international break in June.

United States of America v Netherlands : Final - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Photo by Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle are part of a U.S. roster that will play friendlies against Portugal, Jamaica, and Nigeria between June 10 and June 16. Rapinoe currently leads the U.S. in scoring in 2021 with seven goals. Her all-time high in a calendar year for the USWNT is nine goals, which she achieved in 2019 — a pretty decent year for the Reign forward. If she scores in any of these June matches, it would make Rapinoe just the 11th player in USWNT history to score 60 or more goals in her career.

Lavelle, who started training with OL Reign this week, has 53 appearances for the USWNT. She’s scored 14 goals and notched eight assists.

Nikita Taparia/SounderAtHeart

Midfielder Angelina received her first senior call-up for Brazil. Coached by former USWNT manager Pia Sundhage, Brazil will face Russia and Canada on June 11 and June 14, respectively, in Spain. The recently-turned-21-year-old has extensive experience with the U17 and U20 Brazilian national team, playing in both the U17 and U20 Women’s World Cups.

Chicago Red Stars v OL Reign Photo by Jane Gershovich/ISI Photos/Getty Images

OL Reign’s Quinn has been called up by Canada for that June 14 match against Brazil. Canada will also face the Czech Republic on June 11. Quinn missed the last two games with an Achilles injury, but has been practicing with OL Reign this week and looks ready for this weekend’s match against the Washington Spirit.

Chicago Red Stars v OL Reign - NWSL Challenge Cup Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

And while Fishlock wasn’t named to Team GB, she was called up to the Wales Women’s National Team for a match against Scotland on June 15.

OL Reign has a break in play during this international window. After a road match against Gotham FC on June 5, the team doesn’t play again until June 19. In addition to these returning international players, that June 19 match could feature some of the new faces joining the club in June from Lyon — Dzsenifer Marozsan, Eugenie Le Sommer, and Sarah Bouhaddi.