Karen Bardsley chose Three Lions over Stars and Stripes

Thursday 12 Feb 2015
Karen Bardsley made her England debut against Northern Ireland in 2005

Karen Bardsley was born in the USA – but grew up dreaming of playing for England.

The Three Lions goalkeeper was raised in Chino Hills, California by parents from Greater Manchester.

She has only lived in England for three years, since signing for Manchester City, but has represented Mark Sampson’s side 40 times.

England v USA

A Women's International
8pm, Friday 13 February
stadium:mk, MK Dons FC
Tickets are priced £5 adults, £2.50 children
Call 0333 200 5343 or visit MK Dons site

The 30-year-old could have chosen to play for the country of her birth, who England will face at MK Dons on Friday night, but she had her heart set on England.

Bardsley said: "It would be great to play for the States, but England is my family's country so I thought it would mean a lot more if I represented England.

“I'd been trying for years to get spotted by England and it finally all worked out."

Bardsley and co. are currently readying themselves for the visit of Jill Ellis’s side, and what will be a high-profile World Cup warm-up match.

USA are the most successful nation in women's football. They have won the World Cup twice, the CONCACAF Gold Cup seven times and have collected Olympic gold on four occasions. They are second in the FIFA rankings, behind Germany, and lost just three of their 24 matches in 2014.

England were beaten 3-0 by Germany at Wembley Stadium in November, so they will have entertained the best two nations in the world within three months of each other in the build-up to Canada 2015.

And Bardsley believes these matches are the ideal way to prepare for this summer’s showpiece event.

She said: "It's really exciting to be able to play a team of America's calibre.

"We need to face as good opposition as we can get.

“It's a great test for us, to figure out where we are at the minute and with it being a first match of the season we can gauge which direction we need to progress in and where we need to work the most."

After USA, England travel to the Cyprus Cup where they will play four matches and they have one more match, in April, before they fly to Canada for the World Cup.

Tickets for the USA match are priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is available at £10 and group booking discounts apply.

Buy online now.

Watch England's goalkeepers training at SGP


By FA Staff