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Tuesday Roundup: Steph Labbe to play for men’s PDL side in Calgary

Stephanie Labbe will be playing in a men’s league this season. (photo copyright Lewis Gettier)

Stephanie Labbe has announced her next career move and it is not one that anyone could have anticipated. The erstwhile Washington Spirit goalkeeper is set to move to play for the Calgary Foothills, a men’s side in the Premier Development League. Labbe made the announcement Monday on her blog.

“I have decided to take my career to the mens pro soccer world. This is the best option for me at this time.  I want to be clear in my belief that I am making this decision based on my own experiences, and my determination to be the best that I can be.  I want to challenge myself in a whole new way, and push my limits on what I can achieve,” the post read in part.

Labbe spent two seasons in NWSL, both in Washington. She played in the league as a Federation Player subsidized by the Canadian Soccer Association, but her league contract was not renewed for 2018. Labbe passed through the Distribution Ranking Order with all other clubs passing on selecting her rights. In her blog post Labbe said she chose not to return to NWSL.

In 2016 Labbe was part of Canada’s Olympic squad and was in goal for the Bronze medal victory over Brazil. However she never saw the goal again for the Spirit that season after Kelsey Wys performed so well in her absence and held the job all the way through a gutting loss in the NWSL Championship. It appeared Labbe would not return in 2017 but Wys tore her ACL playing in Australia which thrust Labbe back into the starting role.

The Foothills play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference where they finished 2017 with an 8-4-2 record and lost to the Portland Timbers U-23 side in the playoffs.

Labbe’s full blog post can be seen here.

Courage, Royals reveal kits

Reigning Shield winners the North Carolina Courage and newcomers Utah Royals FC unveiled their new kits for the 2018 NWSL season.

The Courage unveiled both home and away kits at an event for their season ticket holders. Courage players, including captain and New Zealand international Abby Erceg and USWNT star Lynn Williams, unveiled the uniforms alongside fans wearing the same jerseys. Both the white and navy kits have the Courage crest on the chest, with the NWSL and Lifetime patches on either sleeve. The Courage will display their new kits in action for the first time at the NWSL 2018 season opener, when they host the Portland Thorns on March 24 for the Lifetime Game of the Week.

The Utah Royals also unveiled their primary kit. Like the previously unveiled white away kit, this gold jersey has the Conservice logo and Royals crest on the chest, with the Lifetime and NWSL patches on either sleeve. The Royals open their season away at Orlando on March 24, but fans will likely have to wait until April 14 to see the primary kit in action, when they host the Chicago Red Stars for their home opener.

Courage postpone preseason match

The North Carolina Courage were forced to postpone today’s scheduled preseason match against Wake Forest due to inclement weather. They have not yet announced if the match will be rescheduled. The Courage next play the Washington Spirit in a preseason match on March 17 in Richmond, Virginia. The Courage are unbeaten so far in preseason and have yet to be scored on, defeating the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, the University of Tennessee, and Clemson University with a combined score of 11-0.

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