BOYDS, MD (Feb. 8, 2016) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today the Canadian Women’s National Team allocated players for 2016, including goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé, midfielder Diana Matheson, and defender Shelina Zadorsky to the Spirit.
The Spirit acquired the rights to Labbé through a trade with the Chicago Red Stars announced last month in which the Red Stars received Amanda Da Costa and the Spirit’s natural fourth-round pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft.
“Steph was our top target when looking for a goalkeeper to fill the void created in the expansion draft,” said Spirit general manager and head coach Jim Gabarra. “Steph has done very well in Sweden and with Canada, and we look forward to having her join the Spirit.”
Stephanie Labbé has appeared more than 20 times for the Canadian Women’s National Team, earning her first cap in 2008. She was a member of the Canadian 2011 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup teams. Labbé has previously played club soccer for Piteå IF and KIF Örebro in Sweden. She is a University of Connecticut alum where she was named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year in 2008.
“I am extremely excited to enter into a new challenge in my playing career with the Washington Spirit,” said Labbé. “I am thrilled to be part of such a professional and top class club and organization.”
Diana Matheson, an Olympic bronze medalist and four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup team member for Canada, has been with the Washington Spirit since the inaugural 2013 season. Matheson holds the record for the most all-time goals for the Spirit with 19. She also has the most all-time assists with 12.
“I have been a Matheson fan for many years and am looking forward to working with her,” said Gabarra. “She has returned to top form and we expect her to once again be an impact player for the Spirit.”
Shelina Zadorsky is a newly allocated player to the Spirit, adding strength and depth to the back line. 2016 will be the 23 year old London, Ontario native’s first year in the NWSL.
“We identified Shelina in the early stages of our effort to improve our roster,” said Gabarra. “She is coming off a successful season in Sweden and adds defensive quality to our roster.”
Shelina Zadorsky made her debut for the Canadian youth program as a 14 year old in 2007 and won a bronze medal with Canada at the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship. Zadorsky was part of the silver medal winning Canadian team at the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship and represented Canada at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She made her debut for the senior team in 2013 when she was 20 years old. Zadorsky played college soccer for the University of Michigan and has been playing club soccer for Vittsjö GIK in Sweden.
“I’m looking forward to continuing my professional career playing in the NWSL,” said Zadorsky. “I’m very thankful to be joining Washington, a reputable club that has already had so much success.”
Washington Spirit 2016 season tickets are available now by calling 301-337-8579 or by visiting our website.