Fiona O'Sullivan

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Fiona O'Sullivan
Fiona O'Sullivan in San Jose.jpg
Playing for Ireland in May 2015
Personal information
Full name Fiona Julia O'Sullivan[1]
Date of birth (1986-09-17) 17 September 1986 (age 30)
Place of birth San Geronimo, California, United States
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
San Francisco Dons (assistant coach)
Youth career
2004–2007 San Francisco Dons
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Sonoma County Sol
2009–2010 California Storm
2010 Chicago Red Stars 0 (0)
2010 AIK Fotboll Dam 7 (2)
2011 Piteå IF 9 (1)
2011 Kvarnsvedens IK (loan) 10 (12)
2011–2012 ASJ Soyaux 9 (4)
2012–2014 SC Freiburg 30 (12)
2014–2015 Notts County 8 (2)
National team
2009– Republic of Ireland 41 (13)
Teams managed
2015– San Francisco Dons (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23 January 2016

Fiona Julia O'Sullivan (born 17 September 1986) is an in-demand coach, trainer, speaker and mentor of young athletes. She operates her training operation, O'Sullivan Soccer Academy, in Northern California and is a coach at Force North Soccer, a premier club on the San Francisco Peninsula. O'Sullivan is a former Irish American soccer player, a striker representing the Republic of Ireland women's national football team. She played for the English FA WSL team Notts County. Before moving to England in June 2014, she had played for clubs in the United States, Sweden, France and Germany. O'Sullivan was described by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) as a strong, imposing attacker.[2]

Early life[edit]

O'Sullivan was raised in Marin County, California where she began playing soccer as a youth. In four seasons with the varsity team at Sir Francis Drake High School, O'Sullivan finished as the team's top-scorer three times and league top-scorer twice.[3] She was captain of the squad that made it to the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) finals. O'Sullivan holds the record for career goals at the school.[4]

University of San Francisco[edit]

O'Sullivan attended the University of San Francisco from 2004 to 2007. She scored a total of eight goals for the San Francisco Dons in her four seasons there.[5] Her most successful varsity campaign was 2006, as she finished team top-scorer with five goals despite missing half the season with a knee injury. This included a hat-trick against the San Jose State Spartans.[6] In 2007, during her senior year at San Francisco, O'Sullivan captained the squad and was the team's leading goal scorer.[4] Although the Dons generally performed poorly during O'Sullivan's tenure, she was praised by the team coach and identified as someone who could play at a higher level.[3]

Club career[edit]

United States[edit]

While still at the University of San Francisco, O'Sullivan featured for Sonoma County Sol in the WPSL.[7] After graduation she turned out for California Storm.[3]

In the 2010 WPS Draft, O'Sullivan was selected by the Chicago Red Stars,[6] but after attending their preseason training camp, was released from the initial 26-player roster in March 2010.[8] O'Sullivan had previously accepted a call up to play for the Irish national team and traveled away with the Irish despite the Red Stars coach Emma Hayes asking her to stay and compete for her spot.[9]

Instead O'Sullivan played the 2010 season with the California Storm, alongside soccer legends Brandi Chastain and Sissi.[10] Seven goals in ten games[11] saw O'Sullivan named to the all-league second team.[12]

Europe[edit]

O'Sullivan signed a contract with Swedish Damallsvenskan club AIK Fotboll Dam in July 2010.[12] After scoring two goals in seven games for AIK, O'Sullivan switched to Damallsvenskan newcomers Piteå IF in January 2011.[13] Nine games for Piteå IF yielded one goal, before O'Sullivan was sent to Kvarnsvedens IK of Division 1 on loan in June 2011.[14]

In December 2011 O'Sullivan left Sweden for French Division 1 Féminine club ASJ Soyaux.[15] In the second half of the 2011–12 Division 1 Féminine season she contributed four goals in nine league games for Soyaux, as well as one in her single Coupe de France Féminine appearance,[16] but the club finished in 11th place in the table and were relegated. This left O'Sullivan looking for a new club: "I thought if I go down with this team, I could lose a couple of years in my career playing in a second tier division when I felt like I should be playing in a higher one."[9]

O'Sullivan signed for SC Freiburg of the Frauen Bundesliga in July 2012.[17] Finding conditions in Freiburg more congenial than those in Sweden and France, she described Germany as a good fit.[9] She made a strong start to the season, before the untimely death of her mother and a knee injury derailed her progress.[18] Freiburg finished fifth in the 2012–13 Bundesliga table, as O'Sullivan scored six goals in 13 appearances.[19]

In June 2014, O'Sullivan scored a hat-trick in Freiburg's 7–2 win over BV Cloppenburg. It was her final game for the club, as she transferred to Notts County of the FA WSL later that month.[20] O'Sullivan wrote her name in Notts County lore when she marked her debut with a televised equalizing goal against Arsenal Ladies, wheeling away in delight to milk the acclaim of the Lady Pies faithful. She added another goal against Birmingham City to finish the 2014 season with two goals in five appearances. In January 2015 Notts County coach Rick Passmoor praised O'Sullivan's impact as she signed a one-year contract extension.[21]

With the return to fitness of Notts County's main striker Ellen White, O'Sullivan's appearances were more sporadic in 2015. She featured as an 83rd-minute substitute in the 2015 FA Women's Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, which County lost 1–0 to Chelsea. By then she had already agreed to quit professional soccer, to return to her alma mater as an assistant coach of the San Francisco Dons. She reported for her first training camp the day after the English Cup final.[22]

International career[edit]

O'Sullivan's father Aidan is from Bantry, Ireland while her grandmother is a Native American Indian.[23] On the advice of her boyfriend, O'Sullivan sent an email to the FAI advising them of her eligibility for the Republic of Ireland women's national football team.[24][25] She made her debut against FC Indiana during Ireland's summer 2009 training camp in the United States.[24]

Strong performances followed in Ireland's qualifying games for the 2011 World Cup.[24] In August 2010, after O'Sullivan scored a hat–trick against Israel and took her total to six goals in five games, she was hailed as "a revelation".[25] O'Sullivan was named FAI International Player of the Year in February 2011.[26]

After the initial flurry of goals O'Sullivan's form deteriorated and coach Susan Ronan eventually left her out of a squad in 2012. Ronan later recalled O'Sullivan and praised her response to being dropped: "she has come back stronger, hungrier and fitter than she's ever been, so credit to her".[27] O'Sullivan scored another goal against Israel in Ireland's final 2013 UEFA Women's Championship qualifier. The Irish won 2–0 in Ramat Gan but were already out of contention for a place at the finals.

O'Sullivan missed Ireland's 2013 Cyprus Cup campaign with a knee injury sustained while training with her German club.[28] In June 2013 she hit both goals as Ireland recovered from 2–0 down to draw 2–2 in a friendly with Austria at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin.[29] Despite three goals from O'Sullivan, Ireland's 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification campaign ended in failure. In January 2015 she scored in a 3–1 training match defeat by Norway at La Manga Stadium.[30]

With Ireland struggling to score goals since O'Sullivan's move into coaching, coach Ronan recalled the clubless striker for friendlies against the United States and United States under-23 in January 2016.[31]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Ireland's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
1 24 September 2009 Turners Cross, Cork  Kazakhstan 2–1 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Qual. 1
3 21 March 2010 Ness Ziona Stadium, Ness Ziona  Israel 3–0 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Qual. 2
6 25 August 2010 Carlisle Grounds, Bray  Israel 3–0 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Qual. 3
7 19 September 2012 Ramat Gan Stadium, Ramat Gan  Israel 2–0 2013 UEFA Women's Championship Qual. 1
9 18 June 2013 Tallaght Stadium, Dublin  Austria 2–2 Friendly 2
10 30 October 2013 Ob Jezeru City Stadium, Velenje  Slovenia 3–0 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Qual. 1
11 7 May 2014 Tallaght Stadium, Dublin  Russia 1–3 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Qual. 1
12 20 August 2014 Tallaght Stadium, Dublin  Slovenia 2–0 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Qual. 1
13 15 January 2015 La Manga Stadium, La Manga  Norway 1–3 Friendly 1
14 7 June 2016 Tallaght Stadium, Dublin  Montenegro 9–0 2017 UEFA Women's Championship Qual. 1

Personal life[edit]

International politics graduate[32] O'Sullivan coached soccer at Sir Francis Drake High School[3] and since 2005, runs soccer camp and soccer clinic businesses in the Bay Area including the O'Sullivan Soccer Academy. [33] In August 2014 O'Sullivan was bereaved by the sudden death of her fiancé Devougn Lamont, a 30-year-old professional basketball player. After dating Lamont for 10 years, she had planned to retire from soccer after one more season to join him in France to get married and start a family.[34] In 2013 and 2014 O'Sullivan wrote a blog on the Women's Soccer United website.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/01/2015 and 31/01/2015" (PDF). The Football Association. p. 7. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Senior Women Player Profiles". Football Association of Ireland. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Dave Curtis (26 July 2009). "Irish eyes smile on former Drake standout O'Sullivan". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Coaches and Counselors". Fiona's Soccer Camp. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Former Don Fiona O'Sullivan Drafted by the Chicago Red Stars of the WPS". University of San Francisco. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Red Stars select UNC's Whitney Engen in WPS Draft". WomensProSoccer.com. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "WPSL HONORS". Chicagoland Soccer News. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  8. ^ "Transactions: 2010". WomensProSoccer.com. Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Landy, Barry (13 August 2013). "#TEE10 – Fiona O'Sullivan: "Germany is a good fit for me"". The Emerald Exiles. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Scott French (25 July 2010). "WPSL: Chastain retires, but she's not quitting". ESPN. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Dave Litterer (14 July 2010). "The year in American soccer, 2010". The American Soccer History Archives. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Marin Briefs: O'Sullivan and Abbott named to WPSL all-conference". Marin Independent Journal. 8 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  13. ^ Stefan Mellerborg (18 January 2011). "Fiona O'Sullivan till Piteå" (in Swedish). aikfotboll.se. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  14. ^ Fiona O Sullivan lämnar Piteå IF Piteå-Tidningen
  15. ^ "Rebecca Spencer and Fiona O'Sullivan move to France". CWF Football. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "Fiona O'Sullivan" (in French). Footofeminin.fr. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Clark and O'Sullivan to SC Freiburg". CWF Football. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  18. ^ McCarthy, Kieran (24 August 2013). "Fiona's flying high". The Southern Star. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Fiona O'Sullivan" (in German). Framba.de. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Notts County Ladies: Fiona O'Sullivan joins from Freiburg". British Broadcasting Corporation. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Fiona O'Sullivan resigns for Notts County Ladies". Mansfield Chad. 13 January 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  22. ^ "Fiona O'Sullivan: From Player to Coach". University of San Francisco. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  23. ^ "KATIE OFF THE BENCH TO KO KAZAKHSTAN". Daily Mirror. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c "US born attacker hits rich vein of form for Ireland". Football Association of Ireland. 19 March 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  25. ^ a b Niall Feery (30 August 2010). "'Frisco's on fire". Herald.ie. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  26. ^ "21st 3/FAI International Football Award winners announced". RTÉ.ie. 7 February 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  27. ^ "On The Spot – Sue Ronan". Football Association of Ireland. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  28. ^ "Doherty drafted in to replace O'Suulivan for Cyprus Cup". Football Association of Ireland. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  29. ^ "O'Sullivan double inspires Ireland fightback". Football Association of Ireland. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "Ronan happy with training game performance". Football Association of Ireland. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  31. ^ "Ronan selects WNT squad for US double header". Football Association of Ireland. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  32. ^ Lund, Ryan (9 May 2015). "Bay Area's Fiona O'Sullivan returns with Irish national team". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  33. ^ "Fiona O'Sullivan". Fiona's Soccer Camps. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  34. ^ Maher, Gareth (14 May 2015). "Football becomes Fiona O'Sullivan's escape after pain of losing her soul mate". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  35. ^ "You are browsing the archive for Fiona O'Sullivan.". Women's Soccer United. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 

External links[edit]