The North Carolina Courage have acquired Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé. The club made the news official on Friday and said that per club policy, no further details of the transaction would be disclosed.
Labbé rejoins the NWSL after playing for the Washington Spirit in 2016 and 2017, making 25 appearances and recording seven clean sheets. She parted ways with the Spirit after the 2017 season, and most recently played for Linköpings FC in Sweden.
Labbé joins a team that has earned 26 clean sheets over the last two seasons, including the playoffs, split between two goalkeepers: Katelyn Rowland and Sabrina D’Angelo. This offseason, D’Angelo departed the team for Vittsjö in Sweden, meaning that the Courage were in need of a second goalkeeper.
For the Canadian national team, Labbé has made 57 appearances and earned 25 clean sheets. She was the starting goalkeeper at the 2016 Olympics, where Canada earned a bronze medal. Canada has qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, meaning that Labbé will be likely to miss a portion of the season due to this summer’s tournament.
“Losing Sabs [D’Angelo] was never going to be easy but gaining Steph [Labbé] is massive for the club,” Courage head coach Paul Riley said in a team press release. “She has fantastic feet, excellent organization skills, great shot blocker and has a proven presence which is crucial in the top levels of the game. Her training habits are exemplary and I’m sure Kate [Rowland] and Steph will push each other every day to develop their own game. Proud to have two such quality goalkeepers at the prime of their careers. We are excited to get Steph in our training environment to further improve the squad as we look to establish COURAGE country as the destination for the world’s best players.”
— 𝓢𝓽𝓮𝓹𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓲𝓮 𝓛𝓪𝓫𝓫𝓮́ (@stephlabbe1) February 22, 2019