Karen Bardsley has paid tribute to retired Carli Lloyd, saying the U.S. star and former City midfielder is a ‘deliberate’ pioneer of the game.
Lloyd will have to call it a famous and unforgettable career that shines with silver and individual recognition at the end of his Club season with NJ / NY Gotham.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist, World Cup winner and FIFA World Player of the Year, the 39-year-old will be one of the biggest in women’s football.
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The Bardsley City and England goalkeeper, who played with Lloyd on City and Sky Blue FC, has paid tribute to his former teammate by praising his drive, responsibility and work ethic.
“Overall, my main feeling is that I’m impressed with his career,” KB reflected.
“I played in Sky Blue when he started giving him a corner and then he came to City, and I was really impressed with his work ethic and ready to do everything he could to win.
“When he entered the scene from relative darkness, he went through the determination and pure will that exists now, and that’s really impressive.
“I think what I found most interesting is that he knows himself and what causes it. That was probably the best opportunity to get out of working with him: he stuck to what worked for him and continued to get results.
“Everything he did had a purpose – he was responsible and firm in the way he did things – and the‘ goal ’is said to be the starting point for achievement.
“In the end, he came and gave us to know what it takes to win.”
While with City, Lloyd scored three goals in 11 appearances – a decisive goal in the FA Cup final and won two games in the Champions League, helping City to the finals.
He had the same influence on the field – especially as a model for younger players – and while he’s committed to staying at the top of his game, it could be fun.
Sometimes he even got on his own, as Bardsley explained …
“He scored some pretty important goals for us in the Champions League and FA Cup final,” KB recalled.
“Winning the FA Cup at Wembley was a very special moment, I was so happy to share it with him – it was the first for both of us.
“It really had a positive impact on most people. Georgia Stanway in particular was terrified. As a child, she looked at Carli as a role model.
“After training in the morning, we would go to lunch and get everyone ready but Carli would stop for a bit to do another session. He would pull himself out, put on cones and do a session, whether it was speed, skill or fitness.
“Sometimes we came to training and he was already there, doing some things on the field or in the gym.
“We had some fun moments with him. We were there a couple of times Jill Scott and I were finishing training at the same time and we were going for a walk, a coffee, sitting down and talking about random things.
“I remember we went to the All Star Lanes bowling alley to meet some fans. Our Club Photographer Tom Flathers was there and he was walking away. He wanted a picture of all the players – Carli, Jill Scott, Megan Campbell, Jane Ross and I – together in the lanes.
“We were all positioned in the photo but we were waiting for Carli who was leaving her things. She was head over heels but she slipped!
“Luckily it was okay but it was the most fun! Megan ran to the table to see the security camera pictures! We still laugh about it today.
“He looked like he was walking on ice, his feet went under him and he hit the ground with a blow! He certainly had an impact!
“We’re talking about the impact, Carl had an impact on a lot of players and I’m sure he’ll continue to do so in the next chapter.”
Tickets for the 2021/22 women’s season are already on sale.