most valuable player

Ireland international O'Sullivan named North Carolina MVP in US Women's Soccer League

Cork’s Denise O’Sullivan has impressed since moving to North Carolina in July 2017.

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL DENISE O’Sullivan has been named Most Valuable Player by her club North Carolina Courage, following a season in which the 24-year-old helped propel the side all the way into the 2018 NWSL Championship for the second consecutive year.

Denise O'Sullivan and Jackie Groenen Bryan Keane / INPHO O'Sullivan in action against Jackie Groenen of Holland during a FIFA 2019 World Cup qualifier. Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

The Cork native was named the FAI’s Senior Women’s International Player of the Year in 2015 and moved to the United States in July of the following year, spending one season with the Houston Dash before being snapped up by NC Courage in July 2017.

“While she didn’t record any goals this season, she was very active on both sides of the field, winning 67 percent of her tackles and earning a 78.4 passing success rate,” her club said.

“A mainstay in head coach Paul Riley’s box midfield, O’Sullivan recorded three assists and was instrumental in the success of every game she appeared in.”

The midfielder enjoyed early spells at both Peamount United and Cork, making her Ireland debut in 2011.

She was an integral member of Noel King’s U17 side which made it to the Uefa U17 European Championships final and made it to the quarter-finals of the 2010 Fifa U17 World Cup — the first Irish football women’s team to ever reach a world finals.

She also claimed three Scottish Women’s Premier League titles, one Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup and three Scottish Women’s Cup’s during a three year spell with Glasgow City between 2013 and 2016, where she was also named the SWPL Players’ Player of the Year.

“We unearthed a gem in Sulli,” NC Courage manager Paul Riley said when re-signing the Ireland international earlier this year.

“She is subtle, bright, understands the game tremendously well and is a workaholic on both sides of the ball.”

“A very gifted footballer whose presence will be invaluable to our young group.”

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