Denise O’Sullivan is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for the American club North Carolina Courage of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the Republic of Ireland national team. She won twice the NWSL championship and three times Scottish Women’s Premier League. Denise O’Sullivan is among the best Irish players with almost 100 matches for the national team and being part of the top football clubs of the world.
Denise O’Sullivan was born on February 4, 1994, in Cork, Ireland. She learned to play football on the streets with her siblings and practiced at Nufarm Athletic. She began her football career with Irish club Wilton United and won the FAI Women’s Under-14 National Cup, scoring twice in the final.
Denise O’Sullivan signed with Peamount United in 2011, ahead of their 2011–12 UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign. The team finished second in their group and, as the best runners-up, they qualified for the Round of 32. Denise O’Sullivan made three appearances in the Champions League for the South Dublin club. However, she decided to return to her hometown to play for Cork City and stayed in the club for 2011/12 season. For the team, she had 15 appearances and 6 goals.
In July 2012, Denise O’Sullivan re-joined Peamount United and made three appearances in the Champions League, scoring a goal in a 4:0 victory against Cardiff Metropolitan. And after the exit of the team from the Champions League, she again returned to Cork City for 2012/13 season with 11 appearances and 2 goals.
In 2013, Denise O’Sullivan signed a 3-year contract with the Scottish champions Glasgow City ahead of their 2013–14 UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign. Glasgow City progress into the Round of 16 of the Champions League with two goals for Denise O’Sullivan. She finished the 2013 season with three goals in 12 appearances in all competitions. The team became the champion of Scotland again in 2013 and again qualified for the Champions League. Denise O’Sullivan made nine appearances in the 2014–15 UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign and scored four goals. Glasgow City reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League and Denise O’Sullivan was voted SWPL Players’ Player of the Year. During the three season in the team, she had a total of 65 matches and 33 goals.
In 2016, Denise O’Sullivan signed with the American team Houston Dash. She finished the 2016 season with 2 goals and 5 assists in 18 appearances. During the 2017 season, she appeared in 11 games for Houston and tallied an assist
After the successful seasons, Denise O’Sullivan was claimed off waivers by the North Carolina Courage. She signed with the club on July 28, 2017, and made her debut on 10 August. She made a total of 9 appearances for the North Carolina Courage in 2017 and scored one goal. During the 2018 regular season, she made 22 appearances. North Carolina finished in the first place and won the NWSL Shield for the second consecutive season. Denise O’Sullivan was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) on the team by her Courage teammates at the end of the season. During the 2019 season, she was a starter in 22 of the 24 games she played, and the team finished in first place.
In November 2019, Denise O’Sullivan signed a multi-year contract with the North Carolina Courage.
At the international level, Denise O’Sullivan was one of the key players for the Republic of Ireland team. She has 96 matches and 19 goals for the national team.