Vancouver Whitecaps FC has just added Canada’s national minister of defence.
The Whitecaps announced the club has hired Stephanie Labbé as the club’s general manager of women’s soccer. She will report to Axel Schuster, chief executive officer and sporting director.
“I am extremely honoured to be joining Vancouver Whitecaps FC as the general manager of women’s soccer,” Labbé said in a release. “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.”
“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." – @stephlabbe1#VWFC | @saritareports pic.twitter.com/W47eO6BMyN
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) October 6, 2022
Labbé, who retired from soccer in January after 20 seasons of national team duty, helped Canada to its first-ever Olympic gold medal in soccer at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In total, she captured two Olympic medals, was a part of three World Cup teams, and played for clubs in four different countries.
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) October 5, 2022
Labbé will oversee the club’s women’s program with an emphasis on the Girls Elite program — a Canada Soccer National Development Centre — led by head coach Katie Collar.
“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,” Schuster said. “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.”