Canadians abroad: Sweden

As the highest level of women’s soccer in Sweden, Damallsvenskan has seen plenty of Canadian faces over the years. This season is no different:

Allysha Chapman
Eskilstuna United DFF

The Damallsvenskan rookie had a decorated college career, racking up accolade after accolade with LSU. She recently played for IK Sirius, a club based out of Uppsala and part of the Elitettan league. Over the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the defender played in 43 matches with Siruis and netted two goals. Internationally, she was a member of Canada’s 2008 U-20 team, which played in the CONCACAF tournament and Women’s World Cup in Chile. 


Emily Zurrer / Photo by Canada Soccer - Ville Vuorinen

Photo by Canada Soccer – Ville Vuorinen

Emily Zurrer
Jitex BK

No stranger to playing overseas, the 26-year-old spent the 2011 season with Damallsvenskan’s Dalsjöfors GoIF, suiting up for 10 matches, good for 880 minutes of play. She also spent time with Germany’s SG Essen-Schönebeck in 2010.

This year’s move to Sweden comes at an ideal time, because it allows her to get regular minutes on a professional squad. That playing time is crucial with the 2015 Women’s World Cup just around the corner. She won’t get lost in the depth with Jitex, which may have been the case in 2013, when she was allocated to the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League in North America.

As it stands, she is currently the lone Canadian playing for Jitex. She does share backline duty with Robyn Decker of the USA, making them the only North Americans on the squad.




Marie-Eve Nault / Photo by Canada Soccer

Photo by Canada Soccer

Marie-Eve Nault
KIF Örebro DFF 

This is the defender’s second season with Örebro. She first made her trek overseas when she signed a one-year contract in 2013, appearing as a starter in 21 matches. It gave her the opportunity to play at a professional level for the first time since 2010, after last suiting up for the Ottawa Fury of the W-League. There’s ample playing time for the 32-year-old in Sweden, where she’s been part of the every starting lineup in each game she’s played.



Stephanie Labbe / Photo by Canada Soccer - Tony Lewis

Photo by Canada Soccer – Tony Lewis

Stephanie Labbe
KIF Örebro DFF

The 27-year-old is a seasoned Damallsvenskan veteran. She began her Swedish journey in 2009, when she began playing for Piteå IF. She appeared in over 60 matches with the club and remained with them until 2011. She signed on with Örebro in 2012 and has been one of their key players ever since. She suited up in 21 matches during both the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

On March 26th, she even got in on the scoring, helping Örebro defeat Vittsjö in the Swedish Cup quarterfinal, thanks to her PK goal.

She’s well-known for being reliable in high pressure situations, making numerous impressive saves over the years, including some dazzling penalty kick stops.

On April 12th, Örebro faced Jitex and all three Canadian players were part of their respective starting 11 for the match. Labbe earned a clean sheet in the 2-0 victory. Both Nault and Zurrer played the full 90 minutes.




How can you follow Canadian players in Sweden?

Although regular season Damallsvenskan matches are rarely streamed, there is a fantastic live scoring feature on the Swedish Football Federation’s website. The stats available for each game go beyond the score and shots on goal. You can find the team’s formation, depth chart, player biographies, stadium information and plenty more. It’s impressive.

TVA4 Sport in Sweden is airing select 2014 Damallsvenskan matches.

All three clubs are on Twitter: Eskilstuna United DFFJitex BK, and KIF Örebro DFF.

About the author:
Sandra Prusina is a journalist and broadcaster based out of Calgary, Canada. She has covered women’s soccer since 2010. She’s also a segment reporter for Olympic Broadcast Services, traveling to Vancouver, London and Sochi to work for the host broadcaster.





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