Olympic champion goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé has announced her upcoming retirement from football as an active player. Labbé has left Paris Saint-Germain FC after the winter break and is scheduled to leave the playing field after an upcoming Women’s International Friendly with Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team in the Spring of 2022.
“The leadership, performances and confidence we saw from Steph this summer demonstrates the impact she has on Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Head Coach. “I can’t think of a better way to go out after such dedication to the program than with the world class performances we consistently saw from her on the biggest stage possible to win this country a Gold Medal. I know Steph is ready to move onto the next phase of her life and on behalf of the team and Canada Soccer would like to thank Steph for her tireless commitment and what she has done for this country, she will be greatly missed.”
Labbé’s career as a professional and international player will span 19 years from her first call up to Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team in August 2004, which was also her first summer in the USL W-League with Edmonton Aviators at age 17. She played her college football at the University of Connecticut and made her international “A” debut on 27 July 2008 in a friendly match against Singapore. She was also the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year in 2008.
Labbé represented Canada at three FIFA World Cups, two Olympic Games and four Concacaf tournaments. She won a Concacaf Championship in 2010, Olympic Games Bronze Medal in 2016, and Olympic Games Gold Medal in 2021. She also won three Concacaf silver medals and was both the Golden Gloves winner and selected to the Best XI at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Through to the end of 2021, she has made 85 international “A” appearances with 44 clean sheets (including 31 shutout wins). She led Canada in clean sheets for six consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2021, including her record nine clean sheets in 2021 after which she finished a runner up in voting for Canada Soccer Player of the Year. She was also a top-3 finalist for FIFA The Best Goalkeeper from the 2020-21 season. She was part of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team recognized as the Postmedia Canadian Team of the Year in 2016 and 2021 as well as the Canadian Press Team of the Year in 2021.
At the club level, Labbé played for Edmonton Aviators and then New England Mutiny in between her college years, then turned pro with Piteå IF in Sweden. In 2014, she helped KIF Örebro finish second in the league standings. After a move to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), she helped Washington Spirit finish second in the league standings and reach the NWSL Final in 2016.
Labbé made her UEFA Champions League debut with Linköpings FC in 2018 and then won both the NWSL Shield and NWSL Championship with North Carolina Courage in 2019. She then helped FC Rosengård reach the Quarterfinals of 2020-21 UEFA Champions League before winning a Gold Medal with Canada at the Olympic Games. She finished her professional career with Paris Saint-Germain FC in 2021.
At the international youth level, Labbé won medals at two Concacaf youth tournaments (gold in 2004 and silver in 2006) and represented Canada at both the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship Thailand 2004 and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Russia 2006. She also won a silver medal at the Pan American Games in 2003.
Labbé, who was 12 years old when she started playing soccer at Spruce Grove Saints, also played her youth football at Edmonton Mill Woods SC. She was part of Canada Soccer’s National Training Centre as a youth player and won a gold medal with Alberta at the 2003 All-Stars U-17 showcase.