VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday that the club has hired Stephanie Labbé as the club’s general manager of women’s soccer. Labbé will report directly to Axel Schuster, chief executive officer and sporting director.
“Our club has always been devoted to the development of women’s soccer in Canada,” said Schuster. “In recent years our Girls Elite program has helped local players such as Julia Grosso and Jordyn Huitema, as well as talent from across Canada like Jayde Riviere, on the path to professional and international soccer success. It has long been our desire to grow the women’s game and adding Stephanie to our leadership team is a big step in the right direction.
“Stephanie joins our club as an icon of Canadian soccer, leading the country to its crowning achievement on the international stage while playing for clubs around the world,” added Schuster. “She has a very strong understanding of the domestic landscape and the talent across the country, and she is passionate about changing the landscape of women’s soccer in our country. As part of her role, Stephanie will also work with stakeholders across Canada to evaluate the development of a women’s domestic league and the inclusion of a professional team in Vancouver.”
Labbé will oversee and transform the club’s women’s program, working closely with Emma Humphries, director of women's soccer development, with emphasis on supporting excellence and opportunities in the Girls Elite program – a Canada Soccer National Development Centre (NDC) – led by head coach Katie Collar.
“I am extremely honoured to be joining Vancouver Whitecaps FC as the general manager of women’s soccer,” added Labbé. “Being able to have an impact on the next generation of players through my experience, understanding and passion for the game excites me beyond words. Knowing the club’s vision and goals of bringing professional women’s soccer to Canada, and being a leader in this space aligns with my ambitions. I will continue to push the envelope on what is possible in this country, and provide opportunities for our Canadian players to have the choice to stay home in Canada to pursue their dreams. Go ‘Caps!”
Labbé announced her retirement earlier this year after an illustrious playing career that included winning two Olympic medals, being a part of three World Cup teams, and playing for clubs in four different countries.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Labbé kept two clean sheets on the way to helping Canada secure a second straight bronze medal. In the following 2020 Tokyo Olympics Labbé put forth a series of heroic performances, backstopping Canada to two clean sheets and two shootout wins in the knockout round, including in the gold medal game against Sweden.
In college, Labbé played four seasons at the University of Connecticut, winning Big East Goalkeeper of the Year in her senior season. The native of Stony Plain, Alberta then started her professional career in Sweden, where she went on to play for Piteå IF, KIF Örebro, Linköpings FC, and Rosengård. In between she also spent time in the National Women’s Soccer League with Washington Spirit and North Carolina Courage, where she won the NWSL championship in 2019. The established goalkeeper also spent a season with Calgary Foothills FC in the United Women’s Soccer league and signed with the club’s men’s team in the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League. At the conclusion of her club career, Labbé played in France with Paris Saint-Germain.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC purpose is to unite and inspire its communities. Whitecaps FC is one of the longest standing professional soccer clubs in North America, having originally been founded in 1974. Since 2011, the club has played in Major League Soccer, the top tier of professional soccer in the United States and Canada. Whitecaps FC are a fully integrated club, housing one of the most unique soccer development programs in North America, starting from grassroots and including professional development programs for both boys and girls, with a goal to provide a safe and welcoming environment so that all participants can thrive and achieve their potential. For more information, visit whitecapsfc.com.